The project was first announced in May 2020, at the popularity zenith of the Netflix docuseries: Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness. The original series hit the streaming platform at the beginning of the pandemic when most of the country was stuck at home and glued to their televisions.
Exotic became a household name after, yet, "I think Amazon ultimately felt that it was material that had become past tense because it took so long for it come together," Cage told Variety. "They felt at one point that it was lightning in a bottle, but that point has since faded into the distance and it's no longer relevant."
Producers CBS Studios, which envisioned the show as an eight-episode limited series, will likely try to shop the project to other outlets.
However, the Cage-led series is just one of two scripted projects on the Tiger King story. NBCUniversal and Peacock are currently in production on their own Joe Exotic series, with SNL's Kate McKinnon set to play Carole Baskin and John Cameron Mitchell on board to wear cowboy boots and the bleach-blonde mullet wig of the titular character.
The former zoo owner is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence for a murder-for-hire plot against Baskin. Cage's role as Exotic would have been his first TV gig ever.