Michael Keaton to Star as John McAfee in Upcoming Biopic ‘King of the Jungle’
2-11-2018, 23:00 45
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The movie, which IMDB lists as currently being in pre-production, is slated to be a comedy (presumably dark) based on 2012 article written by Joshua Davis for Wired magazine titled “John McAfee’s Last Stand.” It will star Academy Award nominee Michael Keaton (Birdman, Beetlejuice, Batman) as John McAfee and Seth Rogen (Knocked Up, Freaks and Geeks, This is the End) as Wired magazine investigator Ari Furman.
According to an article published in Variety on Monday:
Keaton will play McAfee, creator of the McAfee Antivirus software. McAfee cashed in his fortune, left civilization, and moved to the jungle in Belize, where he set up a compound of guns, sex, and madness. Rogen will portray Wired magazine investigator Ari Furman, who 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.
I asked McAfee via Twitter if he was at all concerned about Hollywood over-sensationalizing his story, to which he answered:
I am not concerned with over sensationalizing. My entire life has been over sensationalized by the press.
Finding the Man Who Would Be King
Finding the perfect actor to portray the larger-than-life John McAfee was no simple task. The role – at least in this writer’s opinion – requires someone believably hard-bitten, who can convince audiences that he has come up through the School of Hard Knocks and has given as good as he’s gotten. A ‘zero f*cks given’ attitude is also a must.
Anyone who follows McAfee on Twitter knows that his first choice of an actor to portray him was Morgan Freeman. In fact, in March 2017, The Inquirer published a pitch for a screenplay with Freeman in the role of John McAfee. The pitch turned out to be for a non-existent screenplay, which is a shame, because it was pretty epic. It even featured a suit-wearing joint-rolling capuchin monkey.
Sadly, it was reported that Morgan Freeman declined the offer to portray the 72-year McAfee. Instead, Johnny Depp – best known for his role as Jack Sparrow in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise – was cast and was attached to the film for the better part of a year before being fired. McAfee admits that he lobbied to have Depp fired, despite having once praised his acting ability:
I have been frequently compared to Hunter S. Thompson and I have seen Depp’s magnificent portrayal of Thompson. […] I think Depp is as good as Javier Bardem, John Turturro, Mickey Rourke or Morgan Freeman [to play the part].
So why the change of heart? The extremely McAfee-esque answer is pretty simple – “The p*ssy couldn’t handle my drugs.”
As far as any other actors who might have been in the running, McAfee commented:
I’m not sure of other actors considered, although rumors from inside the industry tell me that Peter Dinklage, seriously, was considered.
Of course, Crypto Twitter users had their own opinions as to who should play McAfee. Christian Bale, Viggo Mortensen, and Bryan Cranston are just a few names that have been tossed about.
Now that Michael Keaton’s role has been confirmed, it remains to be seen just how well he can fill McAfee’s shoes. For his part, McAfee seems pretty optimistic:
What do you think of McAfee’s upcoming biopic? Who could have portrayed the role of John McAfee? Let us know in the comments below.
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