Pic comes from Crazy, Stupid, Love and I Love You Phillip Morris filmmakers Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, who are directing from a screenplay by Golden Globe and Emmy-winning writing pair Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (American Crime Story).
The project is based on an article by Joshua Davis published in Condé Nast’s Wired magazine about the wild true story of rogue tech magnate John McAfee, creator of the McAfee Antivirus software, who cashed-in his fortune, left civilization and moved to the jungle in Belize. There, he set up a Colonel Kurtz-like compound of guns, sex and madness.
In the film, Wired journalist Ari Furman (Efron) accepts what he thinks is a run-of-the-mill assignment to interview McAfee, but once he arrives in Belize, he finds himself pulled into McAfee’s escalating paranoia, slippery reality and murder.
Charlie Gogolak will produce King Of The Jungle with Condé Nast Entertainment, Ficarra and Requa’s Zaftig Films, MadRiver Pictures and Epic Entertainment.
STX Films remains in talks for domestic rights and I understand that deal is not yet complete. MadRiver International will continue sales at the AFM this week.
Seth Rogen and Michael Keaton were previously set to star as Furman and McAfee respectively but the project has moved on and new casting is currently underway for the role of McAfee, with start of principal photography slated for early 2020.
Efron has been having a banner couple of years having starred in box office smash The Greatest Showman with Hugh Jackman, and as Ted Bundy in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil And Vile for Netflix. He will also voice Fred Jones in Scoob, Warner Bros’ upcoming animation based on the Scooby-Doo cartoon.
The actor is represented by CAA, Alchemy Entertainment and Felker Toczek Suddleson Abramson.
No word yet if Efron fans can expect a topless moment in the pic à la that Ryan Gosling scene in Crazy, Stupid, Love.