Feeds

John McAfee goes Hollywood with Warner Bros. movie deal

Just one of many irons in the fire

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

The story of antivirus pioneer–cum–blogging fugitive John McAfee could soon hit the big screen, with Warner Bros. reportedly having optioned the tale for a possible feature film.

This isn't the first time McAfee has been approached about a movie based on his exploits. In December, he inked a deal for the rights to his story with Montreal-based production company Impact Future Media. Vice magazine, which covered his flight from his home in Belize, was reportedly also interested in developing a film.

With a deal in place at Warner Bros., however, McAfee could actually see his story brought to theaters by a major Hollywood studio.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the script for said film will be adapted from "John McAfee's Last Stand", an article on the eccentric recluse that originally appeared in Wired magazine and has since been re-released as an ebook.

The article recounts McAfee's early life in the computing industry, how he became wealthy after founding the early computer-security company McAfee Associates, and how in the late 2000s he would eventually give up his high-flying life of luxury in the US and move into a series of bungalows in rural Belize.

Ostensibly, McAfee spent his time in Belize trying to develop naturally derived antibiotics. What actually went on is much murkier, but by accounts it seems to have involved repeated run-ins with local government officials and police.

When McAfee's neighbor in Belize, Greg Faull – who had clashed with McAfee over the latter's unruly dogs – turned up dead of a gunshot wound, McAfee went on the lam, declaring that he was being framed for murder and that the government of Belize would kill him if he were caught.

Since escaping to Guatemala and eventually being deported to the US, McAfee has continued to blog about his purported exploits in Belize, offering tales that seem to grow more implausible with each new entry.

As of last week, McAfee was claiming to have operated an elaborate spy ring, in which he and a team of "operatives" extracted secrets from Belizean government officials through social engineering, covert wire taps, and by distributing laptops loaded with keyloggers. Naturally, his own life was at risk every step of the way.

It's hard to tell just what, if any of this, to believe, especially considering McAfee's rather fluid relationship with the truth. When asked whether his self-professed consumption of designer drugs called "bath salts" might have altered his perceptions, McAfee retorted that he hadn't used any kind of drugs since 1983, and that his earlier claims of having manufactured and distributed mass quantities of bath salts in Belize were just a prank.

He later faked a heart attack while being held in a Guatemalan jail, and has since admitted to posting further false statements on his blog, purportedly as a way of misdirecting Belizean authorities.

Still, Hollywood is no stranger to implausible stories, and even if a script based on "John McAfee's Last Stand" stretched the truth, it would certainly be a change from such comparatively bland computer-industry biopics as David Fincher's The Social Network and the upcoming film based on the life of the late Steve Jobs.

Warner's offer is presumably also more lucrative for McAfee than his previous deals, although no figure has been named. That should be good news for him, since his cost of living has spiked somewhat lately. After getting the boot from Guatemala, McAfee has settled in Portland, Oregon – a rather more expensive region than Belize – reportedly to work on various autobiographical projects, including a book and a graphic novel in addition to films. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
One HUNDRED FAMOUS LADIES exposed NUDE online
Celebrity women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
Rubbish WPS config sees WiFi router keys popped in seconds
Another day, another way in to your home router
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails
Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up
HP: NORKS' cyber spying efforts actually a credible cyberthreat
'Sophisticated' spies, DIY tech and a TROLL ARMY – report
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?