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Amanda Milius’ AMDC Films has acquired film and TV rights to Mark Eglinton’s upcoming book No Domain: The John McAfee Tapes. AMDC Films is developing a feature narrative film as well as a companion documentary based on the book, which features hours of taped interviews with the late anti-virus software pioneer whose death in June spawned a raft of conspiracy theories.
Milius, whose Russiagate critique The Plot Against the President became one of the most successful docs of 2020, prevailed for the No Domain rights in a competitive situation. The filmmaker, who is the daughter of legendary Apocalypse Now screenwriter John Milius, is making the McAfee films as her follow-up to Plot Against the President. That film, which was based on Lee Smith’s 2019 best-seller of the same name, became a surprise hit on streaming platforms by tapping into a large, underserved audience — mostly representing the right wing but also the far left — that was skeptical of the origins of and reliance on the so-called “Steele dossier,” which pointed to a high-level conspiracy between then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and Moscow. According to a Justice Department indictment released earlier this month, the contents of that dossier were a deliberately concocted lie now denounced as fraudulent by the FBI.
McAfee died on June 23 in a Spanish prison in an apparent suicide. But the mysterious circumstances surrounding his death — McAfee’s wife says his suicide note is a forgery — have only added fuel to Hollywood’s fascination with the Silicon Valley entrepreneur. Everyone from Johnny Depp to Zac Efron to Seth Rogen has been attached to films that chronicle McAfee’s wild life, which spanned from amassing a fortune to living in a jungle compound in Belize to running as the Libertarian Party’s candidate in the 2016 presidential election. He once tweeted that he has “47 genetic children.”
No Domain draws from hours of conversations between Eglinton and McAfee in 2019 while the latter was in hiding and provides insight into the tech maverick’s mind-set in the years before his death. McAfee shared details on everything from his abusive father who shot himself when he was a young boy to a life-changing LSD overdose to gaining unexpected government clearance that led to him working on CIA dark programs. He also delved into his life in Belize before fleeing in the face of a murder charge, his subsequent years on the run in the U.S., evading a cast of pursuers including Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, and burying bags of money and valuables in marked locations around the Southwest before fleeing the U.S. on his yacht. The book will be published by Post Hill Press on Jan. 4.
“I have a great fondness for brave men,” said Milius, who worked in the State Department for the Trump administration before making Plot Against the President. “The last movie we did was about moral courage, and I am extremely grateful to be working with an author whose bravery and loyalty to the subject shines through in this ultimate work about one of the most original iconoclastic, vibrant, exciting and interesting men to have ever lived.”
Milius is developing the narrative feature with the working title Whack’d, a reference to a prominent tattoo on McAfee’s arm and also a nod to questions surrounding his death.
Scottish author Eglinton’s books include Heavy Duty: Days and Nights in Judas Priest, which was named one of the top 10 music books of 2018 by Rolling Stone.
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