John Cameron Mitchell has been cast as the titular character in the new limited series Joe Exotic.
Mitchell, who is perhaps best known for co-creating Hedwig and the Angry Inch, will play the infamous zookeeper Joe ‘Exotic’ Schreibvogel in the series as he loses himself in his hatred for rival Baskin.
The show itself is based on the Wondery Podcast of the same name, and is set to air across NBC, Peacock and USA Network.
“I’m thrilled to take on the role of this modern folk antihero,” the actor said (via Variety). “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.”
Steven O’Neill, executive vice president of casting and talent development for series producer UCP, added: “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.”
Alongside Joe Exotic (which is a working title), a new scripted series starring Nicolas Cage as Exotic is in the works, which will explore how the zookeeper lost himself to a character of his own creation.
Meanwhile, last year Baskin urged McKinnon not to use real big cats while making Joe Exotic.