Nicolas Cage Hints That Amazon's Joe Exotic Series Has Been Shelved: 'It's No Longer Relevant'

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JC Olivera/Getty; youtube

It looks like Nicolas Cage won't be playing Tiger King's Joe Exotic after all.

The actor, 57, revealed in an interview with Variety that he's no longer attached to the role in Amazon's scripted series about the Oklahoma zookeeper-turned-convicted felon, hinting that the entire project has been shelved.

"We should clear the record," Cage said. "I read two excellent scripts, which I did think were excellent, but I think Amazon ultimately felt that it was material that had become past tense because it took so long for it come together."

"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," he added.

A spokesperson for Amazon did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

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Paper Street Films' Screening Of "The Runner" - Arrivals

Frazer Harrison/Getty Nicolas Cage

RELATED: Everything to Know About Joe Exotic, the Eccentric Zookeeper Chronicled in Netflix's Tiger King

Cage's role as Exotic (né Joseph Maldonado-Passage) would have been his first-ever TV gig.

News of the project first came in May, when it was reported that an eight-episode show based on the Texas Monthly article "Joe Exotic: A Dark Journey Into the World of a Man Gone Wild" by Leif Reigstad was in the works.

At the time, Cage was attached to star as Exotic, with Imagine Television Studios and CBS Television Studios producing the show.


JoeExoticTV/Youtube Oklahoma zookeeper Joseph Maldonado-Passage, who is also known as “Joe Exotic”

RELATED: The Tiger King Zoo Is Shuttering Permanently, 'Effective Immediately'

Currently, NBCUniversal is working on its own project inspired by Exotic's life.

Adapted from the Wondery podcast Joe Exotic, NBCU's limited series will star John Cameron Mitchell as Exotic and Kate McKinnon as the eccentric big cat lover's rival, Carole Baskin.

Exotic became a household name after being spotlighted in Netflix's 2020 docuseries, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.

The former zoo owner is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence for a murder-for-hire plot against Baskin.

Listen below to our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day for more on Joe Exotic.

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