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Netflix struck gold with Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness. The hit documentary took us behind the scenes of self-styled ‘Tiger King’ Joe Exotic’s zoo, revealing a dizzying array of animal abuse, mistreated employees, corruption, and a lot of very strange people. By far the most darkly compelling of them was Joe himself, the flamboyant gun-toting gay redneck currently serving 22 years in prison for two counts of murder-for-hire of rival Carole Baskin and multiple charges of animal abuse.
Since the release of Tiger King, Joe Exotic’s been a hot property, with several dramatizations of events at the park apparently in production. But first we’re getting another documentary, the one-off Surviving Joe Exotic on Animal Planet. This was filmed just four months prior to Joe Exotic’s arrest, and I bet Animal Planet executives were over the moon when they realized how valuable the footage could be.
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A trailer for the project has just been released, billing itself as one of the final interviews with Exotic before he went behind bars. The preview shows him pretty much as you’d expect: twitchy, flippant about animal safety and trigger happy. At one point, presumably to shock the interviewer, he fires at an annoying chicken with his revolver, laughing as he does so. It appears that Surviving Joe Exotic will also get into the animal cruelty at the park, showing intentional cross-breeding for profit and Joe scoffing at the idea of “endangered species.”
Don’t think Joe Exotic and his tale is going away anytime soon, either. Tara Reid is set to play Carole Baskin in an adaptation focusing on her and Kate McKinnon has also expressed interest in her own series. But the cream of the crop is an upcoming eight-part show starring Nicholas Cage as Joe Exotic, which is basically perfect casting. Before all that, however, comes Surviving Joe Exotic, which will air on July 25 at 10pm (ET/PT) on Animal Planet.