If you thought Nicolas Cage, one of Hollywood’s most unpredictable thespians, playing Joe Exotic was too good to be true, then you were sadly right. The Oscar-winning actor broke the news to Variety that he is no longer on deck to play the eccentric star of Amazon’s take on the Netflix doc series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness. What’s more, that version, at least, may no longer be happening at all.
“I read two excellent scripts, which I did think were excellent,” Cage told the publication, “but I think Amazon ultimately felt that it was material that had become past tense because it took so long for it come together. They felt at one point that it was lightning in a bottle, but that point has since faded into the distance and it’s no longer relevant.”
That strongly suggests Amazon is no longer interested in the story of a zookeeper-turned-presidential candidate who is currently serving for, among other federal charges, two counts of attempted murder. But sources tell Variety they may simply take the series to other outlets.
If you’re bummed about this, consider two things. There’s already at least one other Tiger King adaptation in the works, with Kate McKinnon and John Cameron Mitchell. (The former will play Carole Baskin, the animal rights activist Joe, né Joseph Allen Schreibvogel, is convicted of trying to kill.) For another, you can always drown your sorrows in many other excellent Nicolas Cage performances you can watch, among them the new drama-thriller Pig, in which he plays a truffle hunter in search of his kidnapped swine.