See John Cameron Mitchell as Joe Exotic on Set of Upcoming Series About the 'Tiger King' Figure

The upcoming limited series will also star Kate McKinnon as Joe Exotic's rival Carole Baskin

John Cameron Mitchell films a helicopter scene for Joe Exotic Tv Series
Photo: Backgrid AU / BACKGRID

John Cameron Mitchell is taking flight as Joe Exotic.

The Shrill actor, 58, was seen on set of NBCUniversal's upcoming limited series based on Tiger King's Joseph "Joe Exotic" Maldonado-Passage, seated in a yellow helicopter in Brisbane, Australia, on Monday.

Mitchell plays the disgraced former Oklahoma zoo owner in the series, which will also star Saturday Night Live's Kate McKinnon as big cat lover Carole Baskin, who is Maldonado-Passage's bitter rival.

"I'm thrilled to take on the role of this modern folk antihero," Mitchell said in a statement back in April. "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."

Joe Exotic The Tiger King GW Exotic Animal Park
Joe Exotic. Steve Sisney/The Oklahoman/Imagn/USA Today Network/Sipa

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The series, which is expected to air on NBC, Peacock and the USA Network, is based on the Wondery podcast Joe Exotic and will explore past true events as Baskin "learns that her nemesis Joseph 'Joe Exotic' Maldonado-Passage is breeding and using his big cats for profit," according to a previous press release.

McKinnon, 37, will also serve as executive producer alongside Etan Frankel (Sorry for Your Loss, Shameless). Frankel is also writing the upcoming project.

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Fans first learned about both Maldonado-Passage and Baskin (who runs an exotic big-cat sanctuary called Big Cat Rescue in Citrus Park, Florida) in Netflix's popular docuseries Tiger King, which touched on their bitter rivalry and led to them both receiving significant media attention. Baskin even competed on Dancing with the Stars.

A judge for Oklahoma's 10th District Court recently ordered Maldonado-Passage to be re-sentenced after his 2019 conviction in a murder-for-hire plot. He was sentenced in 2020 to serve 22 years in prison.

A release date for the limited series has not been announced.

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