Tiger King: Taika Waititi Shares His Genius After Being Fan-Cast As Joe Exotic

Oscar winning director and actor Taika Waititi took to Twitter to share his feelings on being fan cast as Tiger King's Joe Exotic.
Tiger King Taika Waititi Joe Exotic

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem And Madness, Netflix’s new sensational crime documentary, has been a huge hit for the streaming service. Fans of the series are already eagerly waiting more content related to the strange, but true story of zookeeper Joe Exotic and his legendary rivalry with animal rights activist, Carole Baskin.

A number of Tiger King spinoffs are already in the works from various studios. Kate McKinnon will star as Baskin in a comedic take on the subject material, Rob Lowe and Ryan Murphy are teaming up for their own version, with Lowe implying on his social media that he will portray Exotic; a documentary exploring the disappearance of Baskin’s second husband will be produced by Investigation Discovery. While there are also a lot of rumors about a feature film in the works.

A number of actors are already vying for the opportunity to play the unhinged gun-toting/gay/redneck/magician/zookeeper/political candidate in the film adaptation. Joe Exotic himself has spoken to the Tiger King directors from prison and has expressed his wish to have Brad Pitt or David Spade play him. However, Orlando Bloom, Jared Leto, Edward Norton, Dax Shepard and Margot Robbie are apparently also contenders. Today, we can now confirm that one celebrity, at least, has no intention of playing Exotic, and that’s Taika Waititi.


Tiger King Taika Waititi

The Oscar-winning director and comedic actor took to Twitter to share some fanart of his face pasted over Joe Exotic’s mugshot and donning the Tiger King’s now-iconic platinum blonde mullet. But Waititi showed no sign of being interested in the role, saying: “I feel if you add that hair to anybody they could also write, direct, and star in it.”

Waititi, whose zany, witty humor has endeared him to the film community and critics alike, would probably be an inspired choice to play Exotic alongside Kate McKinnon’s Carole Baskin. But it’s possible that the actual film adaptation could be a darker exploration of the more troubling and disturbing elements of the story. Which have, so far, been largely overlooked in favor of the comedic aspects. Joe Exotic was willing to go to mind-boggling lengths in order to secure his place at the top of the food chain, that make it easy to forget that Exotic is currently imprisoned for serious criminal charges.

So perhaps Waititi feels that taking this role, coming hard on the heels of Jojo Rabbit where he gave a satirical performance as Adolf Hitler, would come off badly. Taking one super controversial role may have been enough for him…at least for the time being.

What do you think of Taika Waititi seemingly turning down the role of Joe Exotic? Do you think he would have been a good choice for the role? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.


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Leith Skilling

I'm a writer and blogger from Connecticut. My passions include the MCU and DCEU, the Wizarding World franchise, and anything having to do with Middle-earth.