It used to be that books were the limits of source material for Hollywood writers. Times sure have changed. Video games, board games, graphic novels, theme park rides. These are all legitimate art forms on which to base a script in 2019. And now, podcasts.
So, what’s Joe Exotic all about? Try this on for size. McKinnon will play Carole Baskin, who boasts a great affinity for big cats (tigers, lions, jaguars, leopards, etc.). But learning that Joe “Exotic” Schreibvogel, another formidable name in the big-cat-loving community, has been breeding his overgrown felines and profiting off of them, Carole goes on the warpath. She’ll stop at nothing to take down Joe’s operation. But he’s got some tricks up his sleeve, like exposing Carole’s own zoological hypocrisy.
If it sounds like a comedy, it will probably have some natural laughs as a result of the subject, sort of like I, Tanya. But, like that film, this thing is a true story, and the consequences of the rivalry at the heart of it were no laughing matter.
Joe Exotic will be the fourth podcast adapted for television by UCP, following USA’s Dirty John, Peacock’s Dr. Death, and Amazon’s Homecoming. No writer has been tapped as yet for this one.
McKinnon will executive produce with Wondery CEO Hernan Lopez and its Chief Content Officer, Marshall Lewy.
An Emmy Award winner, McKinnon is also attached to star in The Dropout for Hulu. She’ll play Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes in that limited series, based on an ABC News podcast of the same name. We haven’t seen much of whatever dramatic chops McKinnon’s got, but her ability to transform herself on SNL suggests she’s got them. Both projects figure to see a new side of the comic actress.