Louis Theroux fans will no doubt be fully aware that prior to 2020’s cult documentary Tiger King – which took Netflix audiences by storm – it was Theroux himself who had first brought Joe Exotic to our attention within his own work. Back in 2011, Theroux spent some time with the controversial figure, and interviewed him for his series America’s Most Dangerous Pets. Which is why it makes sense that the documentary filmmaker will be returning to the drama-filled world of large cats to do a follow up programme in April.
Louis Theroux: The Cult of Joe Exotic (the project’s current working title) is set to air on BBC Two, on 5 April.
Theroux plans to return to Oklahoma to film his feature-length film, in order to determine where Joe Exotic is at now in his life, and what has happened since the cameras stopped filming for Tiger King.
Exotic is currently in prison after being charged with a murder-for-hire plot and multiple animal cruelty charges. He is set to be incarcerated for 22 years for his crimes.
— Louis Theroux (@louistheroux) March 20, 2021
Speaking about the project, Theroux said: ‘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.’
‘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: ‘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.’