A TV series starring Kate McKinnon as controversial big cat lover Carole Baskin is bound for Brisbane as part of a multimillion-dollar deal with media giant NBCUniversal.
In a major boost for Queensland’s screen industry, Joe Exotic is one of three big-budget TV shows that will film back-to-back at Brisbane’s Screen Queensland Studios and on location in Queensland over the next 18 months, including Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s 11-part comedy series Young Rock and a new drama set in Queensland, called Irreverent.
The Australian Government will today announce the $19.5 million deal with NBCUniversal’s Universal Studio Group, in what are the first productions lured to Australia under the Location Incentive program since it was given a $400 million boost in July.
After Netflix brought the wild story of Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin to a global audience through “Tiger King”, Australia gets to play a part in a new iteration of the big cat story.
A new television series called “Joe Exotic” will be filmed in Screen Queensland Studios in Brisbane. The series is based on the Wondery podcast that details the true events of big cat enthusiast Carole Baskin who, after learning that Joe “Exotic” Schreibvogel is breeding big cats and using them for profit, aims to shut down his venture.
The eight-episode adaptation will star Saturday Night Live’s Kate McKinnon as Baskin. It will launch on NBC, USA Network and the streaming service Peacock.
The real Carole Baskin has gone on to send messages to fans through the app Cameo and is one of the contestants on the US version of Dancing with the Stars.
“Joe Exotic” is one of three television series from Universal Studios that will be filmed in Screen Queensland Studios and across locations in South East Queensland and Far North Queensland.
These include the comedy series “Young Rock”, inspired by the life of actor Dwayne Johnson and “Irreverent”, which follows a criminal on the run from New York who hides out in Far North Queensland and poses as the new church Reverend.
Aussie film and television production company Matchbox Pictures will lead and oversee all three of the projects.
The series’ are set to bring 18 month’s worth of work, boosting Queensland’s screen industry and adding around $143 million to the state’s economy.
“More than 3,500 local cast, crew and extras will also be employed to work across the three shows and many more jobs supported in numerous industries like hospitality, tourism, transport and logistics,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said in a statement.
“Due to the measures we have in place and the amazing efforts of Queenslanders in dealing with this pandemic, Queensland is one of the safest places to film not just in Australia, but in the world.”
Palaszczuk added that the state is able to “get people back into work in a COVID-safe environment.”
Screen Queensland CEO Kylie Munnich said in a statement this announcement was “a vote of confidence in how safe Queensland is as a major destination for film and TV production.”
“We can’t wait to welcome the Universal Studio Group and Matchbox teams to Screen Queensland Studios and watch as these series take shape, and also see our facilities and locations showcased around the world.”Source