By Joe Cunningham | The Playlist January 22, 2013 at 6:00PM
What’s less exciting than the prospect of a movie based on the life of the McAfee anti-virus inventor? Well, how about two movies based on the life of the McAfee anti-virus inventor! That might have been a reasonable reaction had these films gone into production a few years ago, but since then a lot more has emerged about the life of John McAfee, and if you don’t know the story, it truly is a fascinating one. After pioneering the first anti-virus software and taking his company public for $80 million in the late eighties, McAfee resigned from the business seven years later to explore other ventures. Those were less than successful, so McAfee eventually retired and moved to Belize, and it’s there that his fascinating story really takes off. It all culminated last year with McAfee fleeing to Guatemala believing the police were out to kill him as they suspected he’d murdered his American expatriate neighbor.
There are far more twists and turns to the story than we could even begin to get into here, but that’s not to stop two different movies from doing so. The first – announced within the last week – is based on a Wired magazine article and is being adapted by the “Crazy, Stupid, Love” duo of John Requa and Glenn Ficarra. The latest project based on McAfee, however, comes from Impact Future Media, who have apparently acquired exclusive IP rights from McAfee himself to his life story. Currently operating under the working title of “Running in the Background” (GET IT!?), the biopic will aim to tell McAfee’s entire story; from childhood to the present day.
Michael Mosca and Francesca Visconti (producers of the Winnie Mandela biopic “Winnie” starring Jennifer Hudson and Terrence Howard) are on board to produce this story, and it looks like their trump card is the ability to provide a picture of McAfee’s whole life, rather than just his recent escapades. “Although Mr. McAfee’s recent adventures have been widely publicized, the surface has barely been scratched regarding his life story,” said Mosca in a statement. Just how interesting his anti-virus days are compared to the stories of police standoffs and teenage girlfriends in Belize remains to be seen, but we imagine there’s a lot of potential in both of these projects if they decide to go head to head. [THR]