If you’ve been holding out from hopping on the Tiger King bandwagon, you probably won't be able to avoid joining the fandom much longer. Joe Exotic, star of the Netflix original docu-series, has caught wind of the excitement about his intriguing story, and he has a few very bold ideas for what should come next.
The wildly popular documentary series follows Exotic and his ragtag team working at the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma. The zoo is home to several endangered and exotic animals — including massive tigers — but the animals are the least frightening part of Tiger King. What's scarier are the shady dealings of the people involved in the animal park.
Exotic is currently serving 22 years in prison (the charges against him include murder-for-hire and violations of wildlife protection laws), but even behind bars, he still has his eyes set on stardom. The 57-year-old has been vocal about his desire to be an active part of the development of any Tiger King inspired projects going forward — and he's even got a few ideas about who should portray him.
When asked who Exotic would choose to bring his story to life in a TV show or film, director Rebecca Chaiklin offered up a surprising suggestion straight from the Tiger King himself. "He would like Brad Pitt or David Spade to play him," she told The Hollywood Reporter of Exotic's personal preference.
Pitt and Spade have completely opposite charms, but it's clear that Exotic sees himself in both actors. His picks for the lead mean that Margot Robbie's chances of playing the bizarre zookeeper have slimmed down, but there are still many other names in the mix. Along with Pitt and Spade, the actress could also be competing with Edward Norton, Dax Shepherd, Sam Rockwell, and Matthew McConaughey.
Obviously, the story of the G.W. Animal Park is far from over, and fans are thrilled with the prospect of learning more about the dark cast of characters. Carole Baskin might not be happy about that fact, and given what we're finding out about him after the fact, Exotic probably won't be in the future either.
"Joe is somebody who has always wanted to be a star, and so he’s very excited for this to have captured people’s attention the way it did," Chaiklin shared. "But Joe is a racist, I would say categorically."
Co-directer Sam Goode agreed. "We had empathy for Joe, but Joe did a lot of horrible," he chimed in. "As much as we have some empathy for Joe and found Joe to be such an incredible character — this mullet-wearing country singer in Oklahoma — he did a lot of horrible things."
No matter who steps into the role of Exotic (fingers crossed for Pitt!), they should be prepared to play a character as dark-sided as he is flashy.