We all had our fun with Tiger King. But as we're discovering with political leadership, there's only so much all-out, balls-to-the-wall cartoonish lunacy that borders on self-parody a person can take before their attention span starts spraying sparks. Tiger King hit that limit pretty quickly, and now it's done. It's over. It had its time, and now it's BACK WITH A VENGEANCE BECAUSE NIC CAGE IS PLAYING JOE EXOTIC IN A SCRIPTED MINISERIES.
20th Century Fox
The casting answers a crucial sociological question: Why watch a fake version of a real story that was so preposterous that despite its attempts to convince us it was real, it still felt like a shared ayahuasca hallucination on an Everglades swamp tour? At the risk of sounding like a, "no one asked for this" kind of person, Tiger King really was perfect the way it was. The odd aftershow hosted by Joel McHale was proof that if you're going to tinker with it after the fact, you'd better have a solid take that justifies the trouble. That's why the casting of Nic Cage was inevitable when you think about it. There was only one way to make a scripted version of something we already all saw like a month ago worthy of our morbid curiosity again, and that was by bringing in a guy who is a morbid fascination in his own right. Only a wild-ass actor unmoored from the burden of making rational choices can compel us to watch a new take on a real story that felt unmoored from reality itself.
Nic Cage isn't even right for the role - at all - yet it still seems like it's the role he was born to play. Even more so than the previous role he was born to play where he'll be playing a sadder, more desperate version of himself in an upcoming movie. It helps that the miniseries is being run by the guy who ran the criminally underrated Netflix mockumentary series American Vandal. He seems to understand that Nic Cage might be the only person alive who can make Tiger King something that captures our collective attention again.
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Top Image: Guillaume Paumier/Wikipedia Commons