Spike TV continues to expand its original programming slate with The McAfee Project (wt), a six-part docuseries about the billionaire online security pioneer who left the U.S. and got caught up in an international murder probe. Cocaine Cowboys director Billy Corben will helm and executive produce the project, which is Spike’s second mini along with the upcoming Tut.
The series will use John McAfee’s first-person interviews to dig into unanswered questions about his life ranging from drug-fueled college days in Virginia to learning to battle computer viruses early in his career at Lockheed in the 1980s to starting McAfee and Associates in 1987 to the 2012 murder investigation in Belize. The series, which will shoot in the summer for a 2016 premiere on Spike, also will feature interviews with people close to McAfee along with re-enactments featuring pivotal seasons in his life.
“The incredibly twisted, complicated yet utterly fascinating story of John McAfee has never been told on television,” said Sharon Levy, EVP Original Series at Spike. “It’s more than just a murder mystery but a story of the man who invented modern-day paranoia and injected his manufactured paranoia into the cultural zeitgeist.”
McAfee is the eccentric Silicon Valley entrepreneur who sold multiple estates and his possessions to move to the Belize jungle, arm and fund his own private police force and was arrested in 2012 for suspicion of complicity in the death of a neighbor. That neighbor had complained about McAfee’s barking dogs, which the entrepreneur said subsequently were fed poison and died. The neighbor was found shortly after, killed by an execution-style bullet to the head.
McAfee went on the run for three weeks become crossing the border to Guatemala, where he was detained by authorities and claimed the police and drug cartels in Belize were out to kill him. He also reportedly faked a series of heart attacks to prevent deportation to Belize and aid safe passage back to the United States. Following a lengthy legal battle, he was deported to the United States while his home in Belize mysteriously burned to the ground.
In 2013, Warner Bros set Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski to script a feature about McAfee, which John Requa and Glenn Ficarra were looking to direct and produce with Conde Nast Entertainment. The project remains in development.