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Nicolas Cage set to play 'Tiger King' Joe Exotic in new show

The "Tiger King" phenomenon still has its claws in us, and may soon have them in a TV series, too.
/ Source: TODAY

We've only just started May, but it seems clear that peak 2020 has arrived: Nicolas Cage has been announced as the star of a new scripted series that will focus on "Tiger King" Joe Exotic.

The proposed eight-episode series will be based on the Texas Monthly article "Joe Exotic: A Dark Journey Into the World of a Man Gone Wild," written by Leif Reigstad, according to a news release obtained by TODAY.

"Tiger King" Joe Exotic, and a furry friend, are getting the star treatment in a new proposed TV series.Netflix

The series will be produced by Imagine Television Studios and CBS Television Studios, but undoubtedly the wild success of Netflix's multipart documentary "Tiger King," which sunk its teeth into quarantined viewers earlier this year, was also a major influence in getting the ball rolling.

The series, whose working title is "Joe Exotic," will feature Cage as Exotic, an "eccentric, exotic zookeeper in Oklahoma who fights to keep his park — even at the risk of losing his sanity," according to the release. "The series will live in the lion’s den with Joe, explore how he became Joe Exotic, and how he lost himself to a character of his own creation."

The role would be Oscar-winner Cage's first television role of his career, which began in 1981 and has included some iconic and totally wild portrayals, including films like "Peggy Sue Got Married" (1986), "Raising Arizona" (1987), "Honeymoon in Vegas" (1992), "Face/Off" (1997), "National Treasure" (2004) and "Ghost Rider" (2007). He won his Academy Award in 1996 for "Leaving Las Vegas."

Nicolas Cage, who will play Joe Exotic in a TV series, is shown here at the 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards in February in Santa Monica, California.Michael Kovac / Getty Images

Cage will also serve as an executive producer on the project.

We're just wondering, though — has anyone contacted Kevin Bacon? During his visit to TODAY on April 29, Al Roker asked the actor if he'd be interested in taking on Exotic, and Bacon loved the idea. "Wouldn't that be great?" he chuckled. "Sure, I'd play Joe Exotic in a second."

Well, he may not get his chance this go-round, but there are still loads of terrific Exotic-adjacent characters out there to be hired. But bear in mind that the limited series is still only in the proposal stages. According to the news release, it will "go to market in the next few days."

Yet another cliffhanger in the ongoing "Tiger King" saga!