Zac Efron to Star in John McAfee Comedy 'King of the Jungle'

Zac Efron - Getty - H 2019
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Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, the duo behind 'Crazy Stupid Love,' are slated to direct.

Zac Efron has boarded King of the Jungle, a biopic of eccentric tech entrepreneur John McAfee to be directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, the duo behind 2011's Crazy, Stupid, Love.

STX Films is in negotiations for domestic rights to the project, with MadRiver International continuing sales next week at AFM.  

Charlie Gogolak is producing, while Condé Nast Entertainment, Ficarra and Requa’s Zaftig Films, MadRiver Pictures and Epic Entertainment are the companies behind the project. Cinetic Media and CAA Media Finance are handling the financing and domestic rights.

Per MadRiver, King of the Jungle will tell the wild true story of rogue tech magnate McAfee, creator of the McAfee Antivirus software, who cashed in his fortune, left civilization and moved to the jungle in Belize. There, he set up a compound of guns, sex and madness run in Colonel Kurtz (the insane army officer in Apocalypse Now) fashion. The project is based on a true story published in Condé Nast’s Wired magazine by Joshua Davis.

Written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (Dolemite Is My Name), the script centers on Wired magazine investigator Ari Furman (Efron), who accepts what he thinks is a run-of-the-mill assignment to interview McAfee. Once Furman arrives in Belize, however, he finds himself pulled into McAfee’s escalating paranoia as he becomes a person of interest in the murder of a neighbor. 

The project has been in the works for several years and previously had Seth Rogen and Michael Keaton attached. The producers are hoping to finally start shooting in early 2020.

Efron is coming off of strong notices for his work portraying Ted Bundy in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile for Netflix. The actor is also set to voice Fred Jones in Scoob, the Warner Bros. feature-length animated film based on the Scooby-Doo cartoon.

Efron is repped by CAA, Alchemy Entertainment and Felker Toczek.