Zac Efron set to lead King of the Jungle
It’s been a rocky road for the film adaptation of WIRED magazine “John McAfee’s Last Stand,” but production seems to be getting back on track after two years of standing still with Zac Efron (The Greatest Showman) signing on to star as Ari Furman in King of the Jungle.
The film, written by duo Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (Dolemite is My Name) and directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (Crazy, Stupid, Love.), tells the wild true story of rogue tech magnate John 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 Colonel Kurtz-like compound of guns, sex and madness. In the film, WIRED magazine investigator Ari Furman (Efron) accepts what he thinks is a run-of-the-mill assignment to interview McAfee, but once he arrives in Belize, he finds himself pulled into McAfee’s escalating paranoia, slippery reality and murder.
The project comes from Condé Nast Entertainment, Ficarra and Requa’s Zaftig Films, MadRiver Pictures and Epic Entertainment, with STX Films in negotiations for the domestic rights and MadRiver International continuing sales at the AFM next week.
Efron recently starred in the Fox box office hit The Greatest Showman opposite Hugh Jackman and earned rave reviews for his portrayal of Ted Bundy in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile for Netflix. Efron will voice Fred Jones in Scoob, Warner Bros. feature-length animated film based on the popular Scooby-Doo cartoon.
Though the writers and directors have been attached to the project for years, part of its languishing in developmental hell has spawned from casting, with previous attempts seeing Johnny Depp (Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Seth Rogen (Long Shot) and Michael Keaton (Spider-Man: Homecoming) attached, but all fell through.
(Photo Credit: Backgrid Images)