back to article Look out, world! Are you ready for John McAfee: THE MOVIE?

Antivirus pioneer John McAfee, who found himself at the centre of Central America's hottest manhunt in recent history, has sold the exclusive film rights to his life story. McAfee was named by police as a "person of interest" but not a suspect following the murder of his neighbour Gregory Faull in Belize in November. McAfee …


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  1. Justin Stringfellow

    "running in the background"

    or will it be "Terminate and Stay Resident".

    I vote Jim Carrey for lead.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: "running in the background"

      No. "Framework service not loaded."

    2. Lockwood

      I vote Meht Dehmon

  2. Evil Auditor

    McAfee flick?

    I want "Far Cry 4 McAfee"!

  3. Spoonsinger

    eerr David Fincher?

    You mean Alien 3 and Benjamin Button David Fincher?

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: eerr David Fincher?

      The problems with Alien 3 were nothing to do with Fincher, he got the gig because the studios thought they could boss him around due to his then inexperience. There is no 'director's cut' of the film, but the 'Assembly Cut' of the film is different, plot wise, and is actually a reasonable watch with some strong British actors.

      Fincher later made Se7en, and The Game with Michael Douglas as a Gordon Gecko-style businessman discovering the perils of giving away too much personal information. The unreliable narrator structure of Fight Club is probably why he was added this list by Reg staff.

      Benjamin Button- well, Fincher isn't alone in occasionally making films aimed at the mass-market box office. In fact it's hard to think of any director who is 'all killer no filler'.

      Bruce Robinson's 'How to Get Ahead in Advertising' is probably a better argument for his inclusion in this McAfee. list than 'Withnail and I'.

      Terry Gilliam is currently filming a movie about a reclusive computer programmer with an unsettled relationship with the state in which he lives, starring the excellent Christoph Waltz. However, having a director make a second film with a South American country as its title would be neat.

      I've already expressed support for Gilliam to get the job in a couple of posts on these forums, but on reflection, I think Werner Herzog is a strong candidate. Why? He's delivered altered states of conciousness in The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans (2009), and has also directed an escape through the jungle film, Rescue Dawn (2006).

      1. James Micallef Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: eerr David Fincher?

        "delivered altered states of conciousness"

        on that criteria alone it's got to be Johnny Depp

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: eerr David Fincher?

          >on that criteria alone it's got to be Johnny Depp

          For sure , but Mr Depp does seem a bit too comfortable playing nutters. His Hunter S Thompson seems almost nonchalant. Nicolas Cage in Bad Lieutenant appears to be just on the verge of falling apart at the seams throughout most of the film.

          But yeah, Herzog or Gilliam.

      2. Marvin the Martian

        Re: "Herzog directed an escape through the jungle, Rescue Dawn"?!

        Fitzcarraldo, surely, but even more Aguirre Wrath of the Gods are THE Herzog jungly-escapy movies!

        My god, Herzog directing Alien3 would have been a sight to see: the end of Aguirre, where the drifting raft is overrun by scores of monkeys...

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Thomas 4
    IT Angle

    Filmic thoughts....

    Well, there's plenty of background material a potential scriptwriter can draw on. A Bug's Life and The Blob spring immediately to mind.

    As for a director, I think M Night Shyalaman could come up with some...interesting...ideas. Perhaps have some kind of otherworldly demon take control of John McAfee and the plucky heroine saves the day by showing him the source code for the latest version of McAfee AV. As his neurons absorb the logical structure of it, his creation battles the demon in McAfee's mindscape. The twist is it turns out the demon was actually McAfee AV 2014 released prematurely.

    1. Wade Burchette Silver badge

      Re: Filmic thoughts....

      M Night Shyalaman would be the perfect director because both he and McAfee AV become progressively worse as time went on.

      1. Marvin the Martian

        Re: Filmic thoughts....

        M Night Scharlatan would not come up with interesting ideas for this.

        He once came up with a fresh idea, and then used it 4-5times (who's counting, or watching? not me).

  5. Mondo the Magnificent

    You missed...

    Tommy Chong... he has those crazy "stoner eyes" that is much more suited to the McAfee role...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not sure a happy-go-lucky stoner is the right guy for the job

      Was thinking more along the lines of Aronofsky directing - think Pi, Requiem for a Dream... haven't seen his last two yet. I'm not sure about the lead actor, but there isn't anyone better at bringing a deadly uncomfortable sense of mania, paranoia and anxiety to the screen than Aronofsky.

      Tommy Chong just doesn't seem like the 'shoving-bath-salts-up-his-backside' type if you know what I mean...

    2. Euripides Pants

      Re: You missed...

      Rowan Atkinson.

  6. What of IT?

    Boot Polish and Tampons?

    I'm not familiar with the Guatemalan trinket salesman look, can someone please do a mock up?


    1. Spoonsinger

      Re: Boot Polish and Tampons?

      That's what he said, but blood does go brown after time - and he was a man on the run. Draw you own conclusions.

  7. nichomach

    I'm going for...

    Jeremy Irons as McAfee

    1. VinceH

      Re: I'm going for...

      Nah, Liam Neeson.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm going for...

        Liam Neeson... ahhh... I can't even see his name without the Taken scene ( running through my head. Not saying he couldn't do it, but he just doesn't seem adequately unhinged to play MacAfee IMHO.

        1. nichomach

          Re: I'm going for...

          He's got the heuristic detection and removal process down pat, though...

          " I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you leave my PC now and stop hijacking my browser, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you. "

  8. Valeyard

    "Running in the Background"

    Title instantly made me think this was a comedy something-for-the-weekend article...!!

    Any more suggestions for film title?

    "Avoiding Detection - The story of McAfee"

    as for the film about the man himself who knows.. ;)

    1. C Yates

      Re: "Running in the Background"

      The rootkit of all evil? :)

  9. phear46

    So assuming this movie does appear..... Can we watch it free for 30 days?

    1. The Indomitable Gall

      Free for 30 days...?

      Yup, it'll be free for 30 days, but just try getting it back out of the DVD player afterwards -- there'll be bits of it left behind clogging up the mechanism and making it run slow....

  10. Penguin

    It surely has to be

    Maybe Willem Dafoe, that or Gary Busey. No one does the whole crazy thing quite like those two. I would gladly queue for the opening night of this masterpiece of modern cinema.

    I guess the toss up between "Running in the Background" or "False Positive Detection" for the tagline depends entirely on the result of a trial.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It surely has to be

      I thoroughly endorse this post - well said sir!

    2. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: It surely has to be

      No one does the whole crazy thing quite like those two.

      Oh I dunno. As we're actually after "emaciated and deeply paranoid weirdo", I reckon Christian Bale had that down pat in "The Machinist".

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: It surely has to be

        >Christian Bale had that down pat in "The Machinist".

        And Mr Bale has had experience of portraying a man escaping through a jungle, in Werner Herzog's Rescue Dawn (2006)... he doesn't stuff tampons up his nose, but he does eat insects.

  11. sisk

    If The Hobbit can be stretched into three films

    No stretching required. Don't cut anything out of the book and you'll EASILY get three films. When they make anything more than a children's book into a movie there's a significant amount of squashing going on to make it fit. Three movies will give them the ability to do the book justice.

    1. M Gale

      Whereas on the other hand, We Can Remember It For You, Wholesale is a short story that can probably be read through in less time than it takes to watch either of the film adaptations.

      I do hope the latest Total Recall ends in the same way as the short story, if only because it's completely unhinged.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Often short stories make better films than full novels... certainly most of Philip K Dicks stories that have become films were short stories.

        The latest Total Recall is a curious beast, trying deliberately at times to break with the Paul Verhoven version in some interesting ways, and at others to pay homage to it. The editing wasn't quite to my taste, and left me feeling it was less than the sum of its parts, but YMMV. As for the ending, you'd best watch it yourself. Still, Kate Beckinsale...

      2. Marvin the Martian

        Hobbit length

        You don't have to go to Philip K Dick to get a faster-to-read book. The Village Voice movie reviewer read the Hobbit for comprehension and enjoyment, not speed-reading, and had 20min to spare to reach the same point in the movie. With a fair comparison, so not counting the 17min of end-credits etc.

  12. TeeCee Gold badge

    "... McAfee's recent escapades alone provide ample material for five films."

    Soon to be seen on general release in a Poundland DVD bin near you.

    Then again, people watched the Zuckerbitch movie and that didn't have murder, dead dogs, itinerant dolphin salesmen or Bath Bomb Bum Banditry in it.......

  13. David Pollard

    No more nightmares?

    If you watch the movie, will this stop you having nightmares?

    1. southpacificpom

      Re: No more nightmares?

      Only if you don't install a McAfee product on your computer.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    See, I told you guys this was going to end up as a Hitchcockian thriller!!

    First off, let me say that I am going to drop the A-bomb on the leading man argument. Two words that will close all debate--Christopher Walken!!

    Second, as far as directors go, the Coen brothers could mine a rich vein of "Fargo-esque" tragicomedy out of this. Steven Soderbergh or George Clooney can bring the same loopy sensibility that was found in "The Informer" or "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind". Terry Gilliam could do a lot with this too, since this looks a lot like a modern-day Baron Munchhausen movie.

  15. oddie
    Thumb Up


    After seeing his performance in fear and loathing in las vegas I doubt anyone else could do justice to McAfee's hijinks.

    I don't know if I could imagine any of the other actors in a scene wherein they blacked up, stock tampons up their nose and decided that this would definitely work before braving it out in their new disguise... apart from Johnny Depp.

  16. Aremmes

    The Mosquito Coast

    There was a movie (and novel) following the same concept, "The Mosquito Coast," with Harrison Ford: genius gets tired of life at home, bails out, moves to Belize, and things work out well for a short time before turning nasty.

  17. Tom 35

    Buy a ticket for one movie

    And they subscribe you to one year of movies, that auto renews.

  18. nuked

    "Who should play John McAfee in the upcoming movie 'Running in the Background: The True Story of John McAfee'?"

    Surely John McAfee

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    An El Reg Playmobil Production?

    Maybe not the whole story... maybe not even in film version... but at least give us some scene reconstructions for goodness' sake!

  20. Will Shaw
    Thumb Down

    Reproduce the McAfee experience....

    I assume that all future dvd/blu-ray players will come with a copy of the film already in the tray and you will have to remove it before watching the film you actually want to...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Reproduce the McAfee experience....

      ... Whereupon the player with flash a "Your player may be at risk" message constantly.

  21. ElReg!comments!Pierre


    I suggested Gilliam as a director before that deal was signed, but it strikes me that Almodovar and Lynch would be excellent choices too.I mean, drug, madness, a 20-yo girlfriend...

  22. Anonymous Coward

    A Person of Very Little Interest

    Except to himself. His current self-publicised shenanigans make for an "Also, in today's news" footnote, not a film actually worth watching.

    1. Charles Manning

      The obvious way to film this

      Double feature with Kim Dotcom

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The obvious way to film this

        Then you add Julian Assange in the sequel.

        Then, a 4 way reality show - a real "Big Brother" with the lot of them + Han Reiser, in one cell.

      2. Thomas 4

        Re: The obvious way to film this

        There's probably an extremely obscure film in certain domains with a double feature of John McAfee and Kim Dotcom.

    2. C Yates

      Anyone who can sell a journalist a carved wooden dolphin...

      ... whilst blacked up, sporting a slight limp and HALF A TAMPON up his nose is pretty bloody interesting to me!

      I laughed so hard I had to wipe away the tears ;)

  23. PedroB

    Agree with Marketing Hack

    It has to be Christopher Walken. It's the part he was born to play. Coppola to direct for that full on Apocalypse Now vibe.

  24. The Grump

    How about...

    OK, Depp for the young vibrant anitvirus executive, partying hard at the top of the world.

    John Hurt to play the older McAfee, as he begins his slow decent into sanity. Only Hurt could play the pain of the slow realization, as McAfee comes to terms with the truth - the world is, indeed, out to kill him.

    Escape icon - We're all rooting for AcAfee to escape, find the golden antivirus code that both the bad guys and the government want to bury, and drive off into the sunset with his beautiful movie love interest.

  25. Anomalous Cowshed

    What about the bloke who is hiding in the Ecuadorian embassy?

    Surely that would be eminently appropriate

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I would pay money to go see this IF, and only IF, they made this a comedy and right before McAfee get's ready to do or say something stupid, they would put that scene in from the Chapelle show with Rick James saying "Cocaine is a hell of drug".

    Yeah,,,, I'm beating a bead horse with that one......

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