In September 2021, Netflix confirmed that their hit documentary series Tiger King has been renewed for another season.
For the very few people who are unaware, this show revolves around the eccentric Oklahoma-based private zoo owner Joe Exotic, whose heated rivalry with big cat rights activist Carole Baskin takes a dark turn when he is embroiled in a murder-for-hire plot.
Tiger King became one of the most talked-about shows on Netflix last year, partially since it premiered near the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. An aftershow hosted by Joel McHale was released shortly after the first season premiered where he interviewed several of the documentary’s subjects about Exotic and the series itself.
Not much is known about this new season, but that doesn’t mean we can’t talk about it! Here’s everything we know so far about Tiger King Season 2.
What Is the Tiger King Season 2 Release Date?
Tiger King Season 2 (also known as Tiger King 2) will be released on November 17, 2021. Season 1 premiered on March 20 of last year.
Even though the first season came out in the spring, it was still in the early stages of the pandemic. Therefore, people who were stuck in their homes and had nothing else to do could just simply watch Tiger King.
Season 2, however, premieres closer to Thanksgiving, which is usually when families come together and celebrate the holiday. This thinking may explain why Netflix is not releasing this season around the same time as they did last season.
Watch the Tiger King Season 2 Trailer
The first trailer for Tiger King 2 was released on September 25 during Netflix’s first-ever global fan event, TUDUM.
It starts with footage that supposedly takes place in the Netflix Data Center. The following text appears: “March 19, 2020. The world has no idea…What was about to hit.” The trailer then cuts to footage from the first season with the text “A story so wild…A world so captivating…A phenomenon so global…We’ve only scratched the surface” before revealing the release date of November 17.
Following the initial trailer debut, Netflix revealed a more extensive full trailer in October, teasing even more mayhem for Tiger King fans
Who Is Returning for Tiger King Season 2?
Out of everyone who is set to return for Season 2, three of the show’s high-profile subjects–Carole Baskin, Doc Antle, and Jeff Lowe–are most likely not returning, at least not in new footage.
For those who don’t know, Antle is the founder and director of The Institute for Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (T.I.G.E.R.S.) in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and the Myrtle Beach Safari, a tour that runs through this private zoo. According to the documentary, Antle led somewhat of a cult that was made up of the young women who worked at his zoo, a portrayal that he told Oxygen he was “was not happy with.” Shortly after the Tiger King 2 trailer released, Antle told The Sun News that he did not participate in this new season.
Baskin has also spoken out against the first season of Tiger King as evidenced in a scathing review she wrote for her Big Cat Rescue blog (sic throughout):
When the directors of the Netflix documentary Tiger King came to us five years ago they said they wanted to make the big cat version of Blackfish (the documentary that exposed abuse at SeaWorld) that would expose the misery caused by the rampant breeding of big cat cubs for cub petting exploitation and the awful life the cats lead in roadside zoos and back yards if they survive.
There are not words for how disappointing it is to see that the series not only does not do any of that, but has had the sole goal of being as salacious and sensational as possible to draw viewers. As part of that, it has a segment devoted to suggesting, with lies and innuendos from people who are not credible, that I had a role in the disappearance of my husband Don in 1997. The series presents this without any regard for the truth or in most cases even giving me an opportunity before publication to rebut the absurd claims. They did not care about truth. The unsavory lies are better for getting viewers.
Furthermore, Baskin told Variety on September 23, 2021, that directors Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin tried to “clear the air” with her on a phone call, and she simply responded, “lose my number because that was not at all what we had agreed we were working on.” In November 2021, Baskin sued Netflix and production company Royale Goode Productions over footage featured in the second season.
Jeff Lowe, who bought the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park and became its co-owner in 2018, similarly told ET on June 2, 2020, that he and his wife Lauren would not come back for another season.
All three individuals do appear in the Tiger King 2 trailer, so they could still appear in this new season but not in new footage.
Exotic’s ex-boyfriend John Finlay also admitted to Variety on April 9, 2020, that he would not come back for a second season.
On the other hand, Exotic’s second husband, Dillon Passage, confirmed to Good Morning Britain on August 26, 2020, that he will return for another season of Tiger King.
John Reinke, a former employee of Exotic’s who was not allowed to testify at his trial, hinted in a Cameo video that he could appear in Season 2 long before it was officially announced.
James Garretson, Exotic’s friend who became an FBI informant, also said in a post-trailer interview with the Cooking and Tea!!! YouTube channel that he was filmed for Season 2.
As for the Tiger King himself, Joe Exotic has a better chance of appearing in new footage for the season. The man is currently serving a prison sentence that is shorter than 22 years for several charges, including attempted murder for hire and violating exotic animal protection regulations, but that doesn’t mean Goode and Chaiklin can’t interview him from prison, similar to what they did last season. He does love the attention after all.
When Did Season 2 Film?
Per Garretson, Tiger King 2 started filming shortly after the first season finished filming in 2019. He also said that the crew is still filming people’s court cases.
We don’t know where filming will take place but if the crew interviews many of the same subjects from last season, then Oklahoma is likely one of the filming locations.
The directors may also use leftover footage from last season. Goode told Page Six on April 1, 2020:
“There are a lot of questions that people would like answered, and we will see if we can answer those. We do have a ton of footage. We did film [more] after we locked picture. We did film the sentencing [of Joe Exotic] and John [Finlay] with his new teeth.”
Even though both directors couldn’t use this footage in the first season before the deadline hit, they could use it in the second season to fill its unconfirmed runtime.
What Is Tiger King Season 2 About?
Not much is known about the story of Tiger King 2, but Chaiklin told Entertainment Weekly (EW) shortly after the first season was released that “there’s a lot that’s still unfolding.”
This season will likely look at Exotic’s time in prison and how he was able to obtain a shortened prison sentence. It may also reveal more of his exploits before being incarcerated and his fight with prostate cancer.
Even though Baskin won’t return for more Tiger King interviews, this new season could continue to cover the possibility that she murdered her second husband, Don Lewis. After all, a lawyer from Lewis’s family filed a lawsuit against Baskin on August 11, 2020. They also hired famed attorney Alex Spiro earlier this year to help uncover the mystery of what really happened to Don.
Tiger King 2 may also deal with how Lowe permanently closed the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in August 2020 after his exhibitor’s license was suspended for poor veterinary care. Not to mention that Baskin, who gained ownership from Exotic after the Western District Court of Oklahoma ruled that he fraudulently transferred ownership to his mother to avoid paying debts related to Baskin’s trademark infringement suit against him, sold the park to Francisco and Nelly Vasquez, who are both prohibited from turning it into an exotic zoo or tourist attraction.
Antle even told The Sun News that some of his ex-wives and ex-volunteers have been interviewed for the new season, so the show may continue exploring his cult of personality.
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