Tiger King series casts John Cameron Mitchell and Dennis Quaid alongside Kate McKinnon

McKinnon and Mitchell are set to star as Carole Baskin and Joe Exotic respectively.


Words: Alastair James

It was one of the shows practically everyone was watching at the start of lockdown last year – Tiger King. We're not sure the drama series currently in the works is likely to cast any fresh light on whether Carole Baskin killed her husband (cue Tiger King edit of Megan Thee Stallion’s ‘Savage’) But the cast is very LGBTQ-friendly.

Queer actors Kate McKinnon (SNL) will be playing Carole Baskin and John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch) will be playing Joe Exotic. Dennis Quaid has also just been announced to be joining the cast.

Parent Trap actor Quaid will star as Joe Exotic’s reality show producer, Rick Kirkham. It’s also recently been announced that Brian Van Holt will play zookeeper John Reinke, and Sam Keeley and Natt Wolff will star as John Finlay and Travis Maldonado respectively, Exotic’s husbands.

"This has all the elements to be goood... It better be!"

It seems the casting announcements have got fans of the show and stars very excited. One person tweeted, "This has all the elements to be goood... It better be!"

Variety reports the series, which will debut on Peacock, will be adapted from the Wondery podcast of the same name, Joe Exotic, and will follow Carole Baskin as she sets out to shut down Joe Exotic’s big cat zoo. The resulting rivalry threatens to dig up Baskin’s own past to potentially dangerous results.

The series is one of two dramatic adaptations in the works, with Nicolas Cage set to star as the Tiger King himself in an upcoming Amazon project.

Netflix’s 2020 documentary series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness shot Exotic, Baskin, and co. to fame.

"I feel like I know a little bit about this guy"


Aside from the latest casting updates, we’re loving the LGBTQ representation in the series so far, with both McKinnon and Cameron Mitchell icons in their own right within the community.

Speaking to the Independent about his casting as Exotic, who’s gay, in April, Cameron Mitchell said he was “thrilled” to take on the role adding, “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.”

Emmy winner Kate McKinnon, who you’ll know from any number of hilarious SNL sketches as well as the Ghostbusters remake, is sure to excel as Baskin, the eccentric big cat fanatic. Baskin confirmed in a 2020 interview that she was bisexual and we’re all for queer actors playing queer characters.