‘Tiger King’ Star John Finlay Wants Channing Tatum Or Shia LaBeouf To Portray Him In Film Adaption

Tiger King‘s John Finlay has his sights set on two A-listers to portray him in an eventual biopic.

Finlay, who was featured in Netflix’s hit docuseries Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, told PEOPLE that he would want Channing Tatum to portray him in a scripted adaption of his life story.

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“He’s always had a special place in my heart,” Finlay said of the actor, sharing a sweet personal connection to the star. “He did a shout-out to my distant cousin; she [passed away due to] stage-four brain cancer. When he did his shout-out, he did it because it was on her bucket list.”

According to Finlay, his distant cousin (who passed away nearly six years ago at 18) had requested a kiss from Tatum – a wish he would grant in a personalized video message sent to her.

“He has a special place in my heart because of that,” Finlay said, adding, “But he’s [also] a really good actor, and a lot of people are putting names out there with him in it.”

However, if Tatum is booked, Finlay said 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 said of LaBeouf.

Finlay is the ex-husband of Joseph Maldonado-Passage, better known as Joe Exotic (and also the Tiger King), who is the disgraced zookeeper at the center of the docuseries. The true story is set to be made into a Hulu limited series starring Kate McKinnon–no other roles have yet been cast.

Tiger King‘s filmmakers Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin recently shared which A-list actors Maldonado-Passage (who’s currently serving 22 years in prison) has in mind for playing him on-screen.

He would like Brad Pitt or David Spade to play him,” Chaiklin told The Hollywood Reporter, adding, “He doesn’t refer to David Spade as David Spade — he refers to him as ‘Joe Dirt.’ ”

Brittany R

Brittany R

Brittany is a writer who is obsessed with rom-com movies, Gossip Girl, reality television, fashion, and pop-culture. When she isn't reporting on the latest celeb buzz, she is filling up her online shopping cart without checking out.