John Finlay has his sights set on a couple of A-list actors to portray him in an eventual biopic.
The real-life subject featured in Netflix‘s popular docuseries Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness tells PEOPLE that he’d want Channing Tatum to play him in a scripted adaptation of his life story.
“He’s always had a special place in my heart,” Finlay says of Tatum, 39, sharing a sweet personal connection to the star. “He did a shout-out to my distant cousin; she died of stage-four brain cancer. When he did his shout-out, he did it because it was on her bucket list.”
According to Finlay, his relative (who died about six years ago at age 18) had requested a kiss from the 21 Jump Street actor — a wish Tatum granted in a personalized video message sent to her.
“He has a special place in my heart because of that,” Finlay says, adding, “But he’s [also] a really good actor, and a lot of people are putting names out there with him in it.”
And if Tatum’s schedule is booked, Finlay says his other go-to pick is Shia LaBeouf. “He would probably be a good choice because with a beard he can look like me, and he can relate to me,” Finlay says of the 33-year-old Honey Boy star.
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Finlay is the ex-husband of Joseph Maldonado-Passage (best known as Joe Exotic as well as the Tiger King), who is the disgraced zookeeper at the center of the seven-episode series. The stranger-than-fiction true story is set to be made into a Hulu limited series starring Kate McKinnon, though other roles have yet to be cast.
The Netflix docuseries’ filmmakers Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin recently revealed which big-name celebrities Maldonado-Passage, 57, (who’s currently in prison) has in mind for bringing his own eccentric persona on-screen.
Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is now available to stream on Netflix.