Johnny Depp will play John McAfee in an upcoming biopic
If you were given the option of who would play you in the movie version of your life, Johnny Depp would often seem an optimistic choice. Not for John McAfee, though, if a recent report is to be believed.
According to Deadline, the Pirates Of The Caribbean star will play McAfee “as he takes a… magazine writer on a darkly comic Apocalypse Now-like tour at his Belize compound, a trip filled with paranoia, machine guns, sex and murder”.
Details are sketchy at present, but the film – that allegedly has the working title “King Of The Jungle” – will apparently be based on the notorious episode in which the tech mogul and one-time presidential candidate went on the run from Belizean police in an unbelievable incident involving meth labs, alleged police frame-ups and the murder of McAfee’s neighbour.
The story of John McAfee is well-known in the tech world. After selling his cybersecurity company for a princely sum, he moved to Belize in 2008.
There he was accused by the government of manufacturing narcotics and owning unlicensed firearms, and he allegedly surrounded himself with gang members. When his neighbour turned up with a bullet wound to the back of the head, McAfee went on the run, saying he believed the bullet was meant for him.
The authorities say they only wanted him for questioning, while McAfee told Wired that he was convinced they were out to “silence” him. Eventually, his location was given away by the Vice journalists that were travelling with him – metadata embedded in a photo they posted to social media revealed that he had fled to Guatemala – and he was eventually sent back to the US.
The project is being helmed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, who also directed Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, I Love You Phillip Morris and Focus. The script comes from Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, who were behind Man On The Moon, Ed Wood and The People vs Larry Flynt.
The creative team behind the film have considerable experience producing biopics, and their previous work suggests they will not shy away from the more controversial aspects of the John McAfee legend.
While McAfee has previously called out inaccurate reports about him, after a company mistakenly claimed he was its chief security officer – he retweeted stories about the movie, suggesting it is a film that is in the works.
In a Business Insider opinion piece, McAfee wrote last May: “My most prominent act of civil disobedience occurred in Belize, when I refused to be extorted by the government. This led to a series of events that to this day, no fictional movie has matched.” Now that movie might finally be made.
Image: Gage Skidmore, used under Creative Commons