U.S. leader Donald Trump found himself embroiled in the frenzy surrounding Netflix’s Tiger King, as fans begged the President to grant jailed star Joe Exotic an early release from prison.
Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness follows the exploits of Joe Exotic, a prolific tiger breeder who ran a popular illegal zoo in Oklahoma and was sentenced to 22 years in jail for plotting to kill animal rights activist Carole Baskin amid other wildlife violations.
After debuting last month (March 2020), the shocking program became an instant hit with fans amid the coronavirus lockdown, having reached a U.S. TV audience of 34.3 million unique viewers within the first 10 days of its release, according to Nielsen estimates.
Following calls from the President’s son, Donald Trump, Jr., for Exotic, real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage, to be pardoned, the politician was asked about the case during a press conference on Wednesday (April 8, 2020).
“I know nothing about it,” he said. “He has 22 years for what – what did he do?”
Trump went on to ask reporters if they would “recommend a pardon,” and added: “I’ll take a look.”
Tiger King has become a global phenomenon, with producers at 20th Century Fox reportedly in the early stages of planning a movie based on the series, with Orlando Bloom being eyed as leading man Joe.
Speaking to People magazine, Joe’s third and current husband Dillon Passage revealed that he wants Zac Efron to play him in the potential flick, with the 22-year-old citing the actor’s “blue eyes, dark hair” and the fact he is “good-looking.”
Several other spin-off projects are also said to be in the works – one featuring Saturday Night Live star Kate McKinnon, who plans to play Baskin – including a “definitive sequel” to the show set to air on the Investigation Discovery channel.