Johnny Depp is set to star as John McAfee in King of the Jungle, an upcoming dark comedy from directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Ficarra and Requa have written several dark comedies, including Bad Santa and Bad News Bears, and their directorial portfolio includes Focus and I Love You Philip Morris.
The film is based on John McAfee’s Last Stand, a Wired magazine ebook by Joshua Davis, and chronicles the exploits of the ex-tech magnate. In 1994, McAfee — creator of the eponymous antivirus software — resigned from his position and set up shop in rural Belize, where he ran “a Colonel Kurtz-like compound of guns, sex, and madness.”
In King of the Jungle, a journalist finds himself in over his head after accepting an invitation to interview McAfee at his new place of residence. The film is from Condé Nast Entertainment, Zaftig Films, MadRiver Pictures, and Epic Entertainment.
The script was penned by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (American Crime Story), and the film is being produced by Condé Nast’s Dawn Ostroff and Jeremy Steckler, among others; executive producers include Epic’s Joshuah Bearman and MadRiver’s Marc Butan.
Depp’s involvement in the project will follow a busy 2017, during which the actor is slated to appear in a number of blockbuster films, including Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Warner Bros.’ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2.
McAfee, once referred to as “bonkers” by the Belizean prime minister, is notorious for his interests and investments in burgeoning technologies and his political activism. In 2016, he sought the Libertarian Party nomination for the U.S. presidency, eventually losing out to Gary Johnson. McAfee even wrote a few articles for us a few years back! To get a better idea of McAfee’s personality, check out this video on YouTube.
McAfee himself retweeted reports of Depp’s casting, which could indicate his approval.