Louis Theroux to release new documentary revisiting the Joe Exotic Tiger King story

By Sarah Finnan

March 18, 2021 at 11:09am


Louis Theroux has announced he'll revisit the Tiger King story, confirming plans for a new documentary centred on its star, one Mr Joe Exotic. 

Already having interviewed the former zoo operator back in 2011,  Louis Theroux met up with Joe Exotic at his Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma. Part of the documentary maker's programme on America's Most Dangerous Pets, it was less about Joe as it was his beloved big cats, though - in an article he penned for the Sunday Times - Theroux warned viewers that "the carnival of human folly it depicts should not blind us to the pressing, and less amusing, animal issues at its heart: playthings of a more powerful predator, kept in captivity because of human acquisitiveness, ostentation and control."

Now 10 years on from that initial meeting, Theroux will return to America for a feature-length documentary on the controversial Tiger King star. Planning on looking back on the original piece, he'll revisit the situation once again with thanks to unseen footage and new developments in the story - namely Joe's current stint in federal prison.

Speaking of the upcoming documentary, Theroux commented:

"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."

Promising that viewers will be taken "even more deeply into the weird world of one of America's most notorious figures", Clare Sillery, head of commissioning, documentaries, history and religion at the BBC, added that the new documentary will be "full to the brim with never-before-seen footage and brand new interviews".

No release date has been announced for Louis Theroux: The Cult of Joe Exotic as of yet.

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