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Movies & TV

17th Mar 2021

Louis Theroux announces new Tiger King documentary

Si Lloyd

Theroux will be reuniting with Joe Exotic for a new documentary

Joseph Maldonado-Passage, better known as Joe Exotic, will be the subject of a new feature-length documentary from Louis Theroux, a decade on from the pair’s first meeting.

The new film, which has a working title of Louis Theroux: The Cult of Joe Exotic, has been commissioned by the BBC and follows on from the huge success of the Netflix series, Tiger King, which focused on Exotic and other big cat breeders in the United States.

Theroux first met Exotic in 2011 while working on another doc, America’s Most Dangerous PetsThe new film is set to explore what has happened to him in the time since.

Exotic is currently imprisoned after being found guilty of a murder-for-hire plot and a number of animal cruelty charges. Many of his supporters have funded a so-far-unsuccessful campaign to win him a presidential pardon.

“This is one of those quintessentially American stories, taking place in the heartland of Oklahoma, with a cast of characters almost too colourful and larger-than-life to be believed,” Theroux said of the new film.

“I spent eight or nine days filming at the park back in 2011, over the course of three separate visits. I’d forgotten how much we shot until I went back into the footage during lockdown. It’s extraordinary how much was there.

“Since then the story just got stranger and bigger, and in going back at the end of last year I uncovered a real-life drama that took me in directions I never could have expected.”

Clare Sillery, the BBC’s head of commissioning, documentaries, history and religion, added: “In this follow-up to Louis’ revelatory first-look at the life of Joe Exotic in America’s Most Dangerous Pets, viewers will be taken even more deeply into the weird world of one of America’s most notorious figures.

“This feature-length special will be full to the brim with never-before-seen footage and brand new interviews with those on all sides of the Joe Exotic story.”

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