Who should play Joe Exotic in a ‘Tiger King’ movie? Hollywood’s in a big cat fight


[Warning: Plenty of “Tiger King” spoilers ahead.]

“Tiger King” should officially be crowned Twitter King, as Netflix’s wild documentary series about America’s big-cat community galvanizes social media and floors viewers, including many celebrities.

Chrissy Teigen, Jared Leto, Cardi B, Dax Shepard, Kim Kardashian and Edward Norton have shared their thoughts about the runaway hit. They’re weighing in on star Joe Exotic’s jaw-dropping country music videos, whether Carole Baskin really committed that crime and, most importantly, who should play the self-proclaimed Tiger King in the inevitable movie adaptation.

Among the first to throw his hat into the circus ring was actor Shepard, who insisted Wednesday on Twitter that he would be perfect for the part of the Oklahoma-based tiger-taming, gunslinging, country-singing gay polygamist and former presidential/gubernatorial candidate. (Shepard, cohost of the “Armchair Expert” podcast, later shared a rather convincing photoshopped image of himself as Exotic.)


“If I don’t get cast as Joe Exotic in the eventual biopic, Hollywood is broken,” Shepard wrote, prompting an immediate #howdareyou from comedian Dane Cook, who had other ideas.

“I already got asked but I’m sure there is a villain role supporting me we could slot you in,” Cook quipped in response.

Later, “Reno 911!” star Thomas Lennon chimed in to report that his “phone has been blowing up” with messages dream-casting him in the wacky lead role, while “Motherless Brooklyn” actor Norton told Shepard to “step aside, pal” and suggested Shepard should play one of Exotic’s three husbands instead.

“You’re way too young and buff and you know it,” Norton replied to Shepard. “You could probably pull off Maldonado still, actually. Wouldn’t that be fun?”

But even Hollywood was able to agree on one major plot point: Baskin, Big Cat Rescue owner and Exotic’s arch nemesis, definitely murdered her husband, Don.

To be clear: When asked in the series about her husband’s mysterious disappearance, Baskin maintained that she doesn’t have a clue what happened to him. And she has never been charged with murder.

But that hasn’t stopped absurd speculation.

“It is my opinion that I believe someone named don has maybe gone through a woman named carole’s meat grinder for sure,” Teigen tweeted, referring to an unsubstantiated theory that Baskin fed her husband to the tigers.

“That became, like, this wholly exciting thing that I ran him through that grinder, and it’s like, I couldn’t have run his hand through the grinder — much less a body,” Baskin says in the doc, laughing.

Meanwhile, Leto took it upon himself to host an entire “Tiger King” viewing party on Twitter, commenting on everything from Exotic’s signature fringe-tastic outfits to his homegrown country tunes, before adding an obligatory, “For the record no one should keep these animals in cages like this. Not ok.”

“Got my popcorn. Pressing play on #TigerKing Episode 1,” Leto tweeted on Thursday, along with a photo of himself clutching a tiger stuffed animal and dressed in a sparkly getup fit for the Tiger King himself. “Let’s do this.”

Here’s what other stars are saying about the see-it-to-believe-it hit docuseries.