With huge parts of the world on lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the entertainment industry has virtually shut down, with the box office being reduced to absolute zero for the first time since 1994 and production halted on virtually every movie and TV show currently in development.
Many studios have been releasing recent projects on home video much earlier than originally planned, with Vin Diesel’s Bloodshot only getting a two-week run in theaters before being made available digitally, while Netflix have reduced their streaming quality in Europe due to the huge upswing in people watching while they’re stuck at home.
It seems as though everybody on the planet has been watching Netflix’s docuseries Tiger King, which follows a story so completely insane that it has to be true. The tale of eccentric zoo owner Joe Exotic and the tales of murder, hitmen, arson, animal welfare, polygamy and country music that surround him have captured the world’s imagination, and it seemed inevitable that a live-action version of the story would be announced as soon as the show dropped.
However, it turned out that before Tiger King was even released a dramatic adaptation was in the works, with Kate McKinnon set to star and executive produce, but nobody told Dwayne Johnson, who admitted that he tried to snap up the movie rights as soon as he finished binge-watching the unbelievable true-life story.
“I was thoroughly entertained, up to three o’clock in the morning watching that. So much so that I called my agent and I said, ‘Brother, get me the rights to this because I want to make this movie. I think Seven Bucks can really produce something special and something revealing and informative and entertaining, and really dig into these human beings who have just led this insane life.’ And then he said, ‘Nope, can’t do it, somebody else snatched the rights up’. I was like, ‘Ah, sh**t’. Well, somebody else will make that movie.”
Johnson’s Seven Bucks company have only produced movies that the world’s highest-paid actor has starred in, with the notable exception of Shazam!, although his upcoming role as the DCEU’s Black Adam gives him strong ties to his arch-nemesis’ solo flick. He definitely wouldn’t have been the only person to inquire about the rights to Tiger King after it blew up on social media in a huge way, but it turns out he was already beaten to the punch months ago.