Tiger King fans, get ready to become obsessed with Louis Theroux: Shooting Joe Exotic.
Updated on 31 March: Before Netflix’s Tiger King, there was America’s Most Dangerous Pets.
During the eye-opening BBC documentary, Louis Theroux spent time with Joseph Maldonado-Passage – or Joe Exotic, as we now know him – at his exotic-animal park.
In the years since, the zookeeper has been sentenced to 22 years for ordering a hit on his nemesis, Carole Baskin, as well as multiple animal-rights violations (including the killing of five baby tigers). So, a decade after their first meeting, Theroux has decided to return to Oklahoma to explore everything that has happened since.
And the resulting film is out on 5 April. As in, yes, this Easter Monday. Hurrah!
Watch the trailer for Shooting Joe Exotic below:
Explaining his decision to return to the saga, Theroux told the Press Association he hopes that his new documentary will offer something “closer to the truth and less caricature-ish to understand who the real Joe Exotic is”.
He adds that it will present both Exotic and Baskin less as “fictional characters” and more as “real people involved in a real crime”.
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As reported on 16 March: “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,” says Theroux of the much-anticipated TV special.
“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.”
Here’s what you need to know about Louis Theroux: Shooting Joe Exotic.
What’s the plot of Louis Theroux: Shooting Joe Exotic?
We already know (thanks to our 2020 Tiger King binge) that Exotic is “now residing in a federal prison, having been found guilty of a murder-for-hire plot and multiple animal cruelty charges. But rather than a pariah, Joe is a media phenomenon with a well-funded campaign team who were attempting to win him a presidential pardon.”
As the official synopsis for the 90-minute documentary promises: “Looking back at his original documentary while reflecting on hours of unseen footage, Louis sets out to understand who the real Joe Exotic is.
“As he tries to investigate what has happened in the intervening years, he meets old friends from his original documentary, the team trying to get him out of prison and those closest to Joe who have never spoken before.”
What are people saying about Louis Theroux: Shooting Joe Exotic?
Clare Sillery, head of commissioning, documentaries, history and religion at the BBC, says: “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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When can we watch Louis Theroux: Shooting Joe Exotic?
Louis Theroux: Shooting Joe Exotic will air on Monday 5 April via BBC Two.
This makes a lot of sense, as it means the documentary will air long before second season of Netflix’s Tiger King, which is expected to hit the streaming platform later this year, and the eight-part dramatised series starring Nicolas Cage as Exotic.
Anyone else incredibly excited to watch this one?
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