It feels like so much more than a year has passed since everyone was obsessed with Netflix’s true crime docuseries Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness. In the decade since the summer of 2020, two completely separate Tiger King scripted shows have been announced, and another documentary series is set to come out on Animal Planet.
And now, the NBC and Peacock series Joe Exotic has cast its Howard Baskin. In the intense and ridiculous feud between Exotic and big cats rights activist Carole Baskin, Howard is Carole’s even-tempered right-hand man. He’s a quiet, demure type, though he always has his wife’s back. (Even when she’s been accused of allegedly feeding her second husband, Don Lewis, to tigers!)
Not Quite a Look-alike
Variety reports that Twin Peaks heartthrob and nerd deity Kyle MacLachlan has been cast to portray Howard, who defends Carole even when she’s accused of feeding her ex to tigers. We know that MacLachlan is great at playing the sweet submissive type (Dougie!), but clearly they aren’t going for a direct resemblance with the casting. MacLachlan will star opposite series lead Kate McKinnon, who will play Carole. John Cameron Mitchell will play their rival, absolute wild man, con artist, and convicted felon Joe Exotic. The Baskins have been vocal about their disdain for the Netflix series that put all of these people in the public eye, and spoke with British documentarian Louis Theroux about their version of events.
The Joe Exotic series is based on the second season of Wondery’s Over my Dead Body podcast, which tells the same story as the Netflix true crime sensation Tiger King. Written by Etan Frankel, the limited series will follow the true story of Joe Exotic and the Baskins, whose years-long feud over the treatment of big cats in captivity is one for the ages. The rest of the cast includes Brian Van Holt as GW Zoo employee John Reinke, Sam Keeley as Exotic’s ex-husband John Finlay, William Fichtner as reality T.V. producer Rick Kirkham, and Natt Wolff as Exotics’ deceased ex-husband, Travis Maldonado. Justin Tipping will direct four episodes of the series, including the pilot.
Joe Exotic is currently the working title of the show, which is based on the Wondery Podcast reported by Robert Moor. Frankel and McKinnon are also executive producing alongside Wondery’s Hernan Lopez, Marshall Lewy, and Aaron Hart.
The other Joe Exotic/Tiger King series will star Nicolas Cage and is set to debut on Amazon Prime at some point. Neither series has any details about release dates at this time.
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