The life of a fugitive software king

The name John McAfee isn’t as well known as Bill Gates or the late Steve Jobs, but apparently his story is wild and fascinating enough to make a big screen movie.

If you think the world of technology’s usually pretty boring, maybe this story will change your mind.

Wired magazine just ran a story on McAfee, “John McAfee’s Last Stand,” written by Joshua David, and it’s been optioned to be made into a film for Warner Brothers.

As Variety tells us, McAfee was a programmer for NASA, and he also developed the first anti virus program, which is still named the McAfee anti-virus. McAfee’s company, McAfee Associated, was acquired by Intel for $7.68 billion, but McAfee sold his stock long before that sale, and according to the Hollywood Reporter he was worth $100 million.

Yet in recent times, McAfee’s been on the run. Apparently authorities in Belize would like to question him about the murder of his neighbor, and he had also been arrested for “unlicensed drug manufacturing,” the drug in question being meth. When the police stormed his jungle compound, and McAfee was found naked, clutching a revolver, he balked at being arrested for making meth, telling the cops, “I haven’t sold drugs since 1983.” 

McAfee tried to seek asylum in Guatemala, but he was finally deported to the States on December 12, 2012.

The screenplay for McAfee’s story is being written by John Requa and Glen Ficarra, who penned the films Bad Santa, Crazy, Stupid, Love, and I Love You Phillip Morris. Yet, bizarrely enough, McAfee himself is working on a graphic novel on his life story with Chad Essley of Cartoon Monkey Studio, and he also sold his rights story to a Montreal company called Impact Future Media before he was deported. 

In a statement, the fugitive tech pioneer said, “My most heartfelt thank you goes to Impact Future Media and Cartoon Monkey Studio. Their dedication to the truth is very uncommon in the world we live in today.” He also launched a blog called The Hinterlands while in hiding.

This is only the tip of the iceberg, and you can check out the story on Wired for all the sordid details. As Wired’s Mat Honan notes, McAfee is “a natural story.” He also sounds like he’ll make a pretty insane movie that at first will sound too good to be true, but it actually is. Honan also suggested potential actors who could play McAfee, and the list includes Ian McShane, Jeff Bridges, Hugh Jackman, Kevin Bacon, Russell Crowe, and Danny Bonaduce.