Nicolas Cage no longer playing Joe Exotic in Amazon ‘Tiger King’ show

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Nicolas is coming out of the big cat’s cage.

Nicolas Cage has revealed that an upcoming “Tiger King” series from Amazon has been suspended for the foreseeable future.

According to Cage, the streamer likely halted production due to lessened interest in the subject matter.

“We should clear the record. I read two excellent scripts, which I did think were excellent, but I think Amazon ultimately felt that it was material that had become past tense because it took so long for it [to] come together,” Cage told Variety. “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.”

Almost immediately following the 2020 release and rise of the Netflix hit “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness” — which chronicled the rivalry between big-cat wrangler Joe Schreibvogel Maldonado, a k a Joe Exotic, and his nemesis, Carole Baskin — there was a race to see who could create a program centered on the dueling enthusiasts. By May 2020, Cage, 57, was announced for the role of Exotic in the eight-episode Imagine Television Studios, CBS Television Studios and Amazon show.

For viewers who still want to watch a scripted version unfold, Cage’s Joe Exotic wasn’t going to be the only option. “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” star John Cameron Mitchell, 58, is starring — alongside “Saturday Night Live” cast member Kate McKinnon as Baskin — in the upcoming “Tiger King”-inspired project for NBC, Peacock and USA Network. Filming for the limited series — which also features Sam Keeley and Nat Wolff as Exotic’s former partners John Finlay and Travis Maldonado, respectively — has already started in Brisbane, Australia.

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