In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday, April 1, Tiger King producers Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin, the duo behind the hit Netflix docuseries, revealed that disgraced Joseph Maldonado-Passage (also known as Joe Exotic) wants either Brad Pitt or David Spade to portray him in a scripted take on his life story.
However, he doesn’t want just any David Spade, Maldonado-Passage specifically request 2001-Joe Dirt David Spade, with the mullet.
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“He would like Brad Pitt or David Spade to play him,” said Chaiklin. “He doesn’t refer to David Spade as David Spade — he refers to him as ‘Joe Dirt.’”
Although Maldonado-Passage hasn’t seen the seven-part docuseries yet (he is currently in prison after being convicted for hiring a hitman, among other charges), the former Oklahoma tiger breeder is aware of his newfound fame.
“He’s in jail, so he can’t necessarily watch it, but once the show dropped he was getting hundreds and hundreds of emails to his jail mail, and he was ecstatic,” his husband, Dillon Passage, told Andy Cohen on Wednesday.
Multiple Hollywood actors have voiced their desire to portray Maldonado-Passage on-screen. Dax Shepard wrote that if he didn’t “get cast as Joe Exotic in the eventual biopic,” then “Hollywood is broken.”
Pitt’s Fight Club costar Edward Norton also wanted to be cast as Maldonado-Passage, responding to Shepard, “Um, step aside, pal. You’re way too young and buff and you know it,” to which Shepard claimed he’d do a complete Christian Bale-like body transformation to secure the role.
“😁😁😁😁😁 I’ll go ‘Machinist’ for this,” Shepard joked, referencing Bale’s body transformation for the 2004 film.
Actor Justin Long recommended comedian Jim Gaffigan to take the role of Bhagavan “Doc” Antle, another exotic animal keeper in Tiger King, due to his striking resemblance to Antle.
“And if @JimGaffigan plays Baghavan ‘Doc’ Antle you can sit next to each other at the oscars!” Long tweeted.
The docuseries has captivated a number of celebrities, with many of them dressing up as the subjects involved. For example, Jared Leto gave himself a Joe Exotic makeover for a watch-along party last week.
At this time, one scripted project is in the works, and is set to tell the story of Maldonado-Passage and other major players in his life.
For a Hulu limited series, Kate McKinnon will star as animal rights activist Carole Baskin, Maldonado-Passage’s rival whom he tried to have eliminated. As for as that particular series goes, no other roles have been officially cast.
If I don't get cast as Joe Exotic in the eventual biopic, Hollywood is broken.
— dax shepard (@daxshepard) March 26, 2020
Um, step aside, pal. You’re way too young and buff and you know it. You could probably pull off Maldonado still, actually. Wouldn’t that be fun?
— Edward Norton (@EdwardNorton) March 26, 2020
And if @JimGaffigan plays Baghavan “Doc” Antle you can sit next to each other at the oscars!
— Justin Long (@justinlong) March 26, 2020