Dream casting a Joe Exotic movie? Consider Dax Shepard and Edward Norton
Consider this a For Your Consideration column for the Joe Exotic movie.
Tiger King, the hit Netflix docuseries, drew in a newfound interest in the eccentric owner of an Oklahoma exotic animal park and all the, shall we say, unique characters in his ecosphere. It also reminds us that there is an Exotic series in the works with Saturday Night Live's Kate McKinnon attached to play Carole Baskin, a rival zookeeper in Florida whom Exotic tried to have killed (and, if rumors can be believed, also fed her husband to tigers — something she vehemently denies and for which she has never been charged ). In putting together your ideal dream cast, please consider actors Dax Shepard and Edward Norton.
On Wednesday, Shepard tweeted, "If I don't get cast as Joe Exotic in the eventual biopic, Hollywood is broken." This prompted a response from Norton, who wrote, "Um, step aside, pal. You’re way too young and buff and you know it. You could probably pull off Maldonado still, actually. Wouldn’t that be fun?"
Perhaps it's the quarantine cabin fever talking, but let's consider this.
The Maldonado Norton speaks of is Travis Maldonado. As shown in Tiger King, Exotic had five husbands. (All the exotic zookeepers seemed to be polyamorous at the time!) One of them was Maldonado, whom Exotic married at the same time as John Finlay. Maldonado died under mysterious circumstances, as chronicled by Texas Monthly. This hypothetical movie adaptation writes itself!
Tiger King chronicles the rise of Exotic's exotic animal park, some of the prominent figures in the exotic animal business in general, and Exotic's plot to hire a hitman to kill Baskin. It is, pun intended, wild.
Netflix's comedy Twitter account is also getting the fan-casting gears churning, envisioning David Spade for the role of Exotic, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star Carol Kane for Baskin, and Will Ferrell for the cultish exotic zookeeper Bhagavan “Doc” Antle.
According to Variety, McKinnon has been attached to a series about Exotic since 2019, though it's a project based on a Wondery podcast called Joe Exotic and not the Netflix series. Assuming the coronavirus' impact on Hollywood hasn't completely dismantled it.