“Joe Exotic,” the upcoming limited series adaptation of the Wondery Podcast that also inspired the Netflix reality hit “Tiger King,” has added an exciting new face to its cast. Indie filmmaker and actor John Cameron Mitchell has been added to the cast as the larger-than-life Joe “Exotic” Schreibvogel, better known by fans simply as Joe Exotic. Mitchell joins the previously announced Kate McKinnon, who will be playing Schreibvogel’s rival Carole Baskin. The NBCUniversal Television series will air across NBC, Peacock, and USA Network, as also previously announced.
“I’m thrilled to take on the role of this modern folk antihero,” said Mitchell in a statement. “Joe and I are the same age and like him, I grew up queer in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas so I feel like I know a little bit about this guy and his desperate attempt to conquer an inhospitable world.” Variety first reported the news.
“It’s clear that an over-the-top character like Joe needed someone very special,” said Steven O’Neill, who is the executive vice president of casting and talent development for UCP, the producer on the series. “We are so excited to have John Cameron Mitchell, an adored icon of the LGBTQ community, take on this compelling role. His casting speaks to our ongoing vision of universal storytelling, and we can’t wait for our audiences to experience the show.”
John Cameron Mitchell is likely best known for co-creating the musical “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” the 2014 Broadway version of which earned him the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical, and a 2015 Special Tony Award for his return to the role in 2015. He also starred in and directed a 2001 film version of the rock musical, which originated as a 1998 Obie-winning off-Broadway cult hit. He received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy, and won Best Director at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival. He also directed the films “Shortbus,” the Oscar-nominated “Rabbit Hole” starring Nicole Kidman and, more recently, “How to Talk to Girls at Parties.” Meanwhile, he’s also had TV acting credits on shows including “Shrill,” “The Good Fight,” and “Girls.”
Another TV project centered in the “Tiger King” world is also in the works at CBS Television Studios and Imagine Television, with Nicolas Cage currently attached to play the role of Joe Exotic. That version is based on the Texas Monthly article “Joe Exotic: A Dark Journey Into the World of a Man Gone Wild” by Leif Reigstad.