EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros is making a deal with Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski to script the feature on John McAfee, which John Requa and Glenn Ficarra hope to direct and produce with Conde Nast Entertainment, 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 who was arrested 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. The movie is based on John McAfee’s Last Stand, a deliciously detailed article for Wired Magazine written by Joshua Davis which the studio bought previously for Requa and Ficarra, who helmed Crazy, Stupid, Love for Warner Bros. Davis will also be a producer.
McAfee got rich by creating anti-virus software for computers and marketing it cleverly enough that it widely became the program of choice for many corporations. The tone of the movie is essentially how an entrepreneur and former drug user whose fortune was built selling fear and paranoia, sold his estates and toys to build the equivalent of an armed compound in the Belize jungle and became consumed by the same kind of paranoia that others were out to get him.
The project was set up through Conde Nast Entertainment. While film head Jeremy Steckler and CNE president Dawn Ostroff normally use back-list and current magazine articles to serve as movie ideas, here they heard about the McAfee story before the murder and got Wired to finance Davis’ trip to Belize to shadow the entrepreneur for three weeks because they felt it might make a good movie. Davis came back with the goods — from stories about McAfee’s teenaged girlfriend trying to murder and rob him (he didn’t send her away), to photos of the tattooed McAfee holding a gun to his own head. (more…)