Hollywood is to bring the bizarre story of technology pioneer John McAfee, who fled his luxury home in Belize after his neighbour was found murdered, to the big screen.Warner Brothers has bought the rights to a Wired magazine article titled John McAfee’s Last Stand, which documented the anti-virus expert’s extraordinary tale.
McAfee, 67, was living in virtual retirement on the island of Ambergris Caye in the tiny Central American country when local police sought to question him after the murder of his neighbour Gregory Faull, a Florida builder who was killed by a gunshot wound to the head in November.
McAfee subsequently went on the run, claiming via a series of blogposts that local police were trying to kill him after he refused to pay $2m (£1.25m) in bribes. After a series of bizarre incidents – at one point he is said to have faked a heart attack – he eventually surfaced in Guatemala, where he was deported to the US after authorities found that he was in the country illegally. Belize has an extradition treaty with the US, but McAfee has not been charged with any crime. Authorities in Belize fiercely deny any suggestions of impropriety and maintain McAfee is not a suspect in the murder.
McAfee, whose name still adorns the popular anti-virus software he devised, initially went on the run with his 20-year-old girlfriend, Samantha Vanegas. His story appears to have all the ingredients for a Hollywood “true life” thriller: speaking to reporters in Guatemala prior to his deportation to Miami last month, he said: “I’m happy to be going home. I’ve been running through jungles and rivers and oceans and I think I need to rest for a while. And I’ve been in jail for seven days.”
John Requa and Glenn Ficarra, who are known for the offbeat true life tale I Love You Phillip Morris, are due to write and direct the film. The pair are also the duo behind Bad Santa and Crazy, Stupid, Love.
McAfee, who accused the Belize authorities of training Lebanese Hezbollah terrorists in an eccentric blogpost earlier this month, is reportedly now living in Portland, Oregon. He is said to be collaborating with artist Chad Essley on a graphic novel about his life.
This article originally appeared on guardian.co.uk