Joe Exotic in Tiger King. Picture: Netflix.
Joe Exotic in Tiger King. Picture: Netflix.

Joe Exotic picks actor to play him

Celebrities such as Dax Shepard and Jared Leto are clamouring to play Tiger King's Joe Exotic in a biopic based on the hit Netflix docuseries.

Online bettors, with no sports to wager on, are putting their money on Kevin Bacon in the titular role.

But now, Exotic himself has offered an opinion on who should play the role.

"He would like Brad Pitt or David Spade to play him," Tiger King directors Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin told The Hollywood Reporter.

Only "he doesn't refer to David Spade as David Spade - he refers to him as 'Joe Dirt,'" Chaiklin said.

Joe Exotic in prison. Picture: Santa Rosa County Jail
Joe Exotic in prison. Picture: Santa Rosa County Jail

 

David Spade as Joe Dirt.
David Spade as Joe Dirt.

Joe Exotic, real name Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, 57, is currently serving 22 years in prison, after being convicted in 2019 for animal abuse and a murder-for-hire plot to kill Big Cat Rescue CEO Carole Baskin - which is chronicled in the smash hit Netflix docuseries.

He is currently in coronavirus isolation in FMC Fort Worth (reportedly just as a precaution), so he hasn't seen Tiger King yet, according to his fourth husband, Dillon Passage.

While Pitt seems like a vanity choice, the actor, 56, is the right age. And in between his cool-guy roles, he's always displayed Exotic-level acting chops in films such as Burn After Reading and 12 Monkeys. He also could be game for the gig because earlier this year, he told Variety: "I'm a little obsessed with comedy right now."

 

He’s played Joe Black, could he also play Joe Exotic? Picture: Rachel Luna/Getty Images
He’s played Joe Black, could he also play Joe Exotic? Picture: Rachel Luna/Getty Images

Spade, 55 (who made Joe Dirt in 2001), is also the right age, and on his talk show Lights Out With David Spade, he has even interviewed several subjects featured in Tiger King, including zoo staffers John Reinke and Kelci "Saff" Saffery.

No big-screen biopic based on Tiger King has been announced. A scripted series is coming, but Kate McKinnon is the only actor attached so far, playing Baskin.


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