After Tiger King became one of the biggest streaming hits of 2020, it’s no surprise that Netflix wants to bring it back for another season. Arriving later this year (release date to be determined), Tiger King 2 is part of a new slate of Netflix documentaries “exploring crimes, cons, and scams.”
The original Tiger King arrived just in time for the start of the COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020, becoming an unexpected hit. Directed by Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin (who will return for the sequel series), it follows the eccentric life of controversial zookeeper Joe Exotic, along with other big cat aficionados like Carole Baskin. The show combined the overlapping attractions of reality TV and grisly true crime, focusing on people with big personalities and bizarre lives.
Joe Exotic is currently in prison for a variety of the crimes of animal abuse and attempted murder, and there have been plenty of updates since Tiger King was filmed. Exotic and Carole Baskin both capitalized on the popularity of the documentary on social media, and Exotic is now writing an autobiography. Exotic has attempted (and failed) to get a presidential pardon from both President Trump and President Biden.
This summer, Exotic also launched an online contest to find his next husband, titled “Bachelor King.”
The main question for Tiger King 2 is not whether the filmmakers have enough material (which they surely do), but whether they can recapture the popularity of the original. The first Tiger King had novelty value and perfect timing, but since then the market has been saturated with Joe Exotic content, including an NBC dramatization starring John Cameron Mitchell, a Ryan Murphy Netflix show starring Rob Lowe, and a planned (but now scrapped) Amazon series starring Nicolas Cage. Does anyone have the appetite for that much Tiger King?