John Cameron Mitchell (Shrill) has been cast to play Joe ‘Exotic’ Schreibvogel in the upcoming untitled NBCUniversal limited series based on the Wondery podcast “Joe Exotic: Tiger King,” which also influenced the hit Netflix series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness, as reported by Entertainment Weekly. Mitchell will face off against Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live), who had previously been announced to play Joe’s rival Carole Baskin.
Mitchell had some exciting things to say regarding his casting in a statement picked up by Entertainment Weekly: “I’m thrilled to take on the role of this modern folk antihero… 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.”
Mitchell is currently starring in the Hulu original series Shrill which will debut its third and final season on May 7. He is also known for his work in television on the CBS series The Good Fight and the Amazon original series Mozart in the Jungle. In addition to being an actor, Mitchell is an acclaimed director. He made his directorial debut with the 2001 film Hedwig and the Angry Inch which has since gone on to reach cult classic status. He also directed the 2017 film How to Talk to Girls at Parties.
Steven O’Neill, the executive vice president of casting and talent development for UCP and the producer on the series released a statement on Mitchell’s casting picked up by Indiewire: “It’s clear that an over-the-top character like Joe needed someone very special…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.”
The story of tigers, murder, and Oklahoma zoos exploded onto the scene in March of 2020 as the Wondery podcast “Joe Exotic: Tiger King” hosted by Robert Moore premiered. It debuted alongside the Netflix documentary series Joe Exotic: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness which rocketed the story into the limelight. Millions of Americans tuned in to stream the entire series and were immediately immersed in the wild world of Oklahoma tiger breeders and greed. At the center of the story were two Oklahoma zookeepers, Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin, who were sworn enemies willing to go to any length to bring the other down.
The limited series is slated to air on the NBC, Peacock, and USA network. There has been no premiere date announced as of yet.