Johnny Depp Confirmed to Star in Comedy ‘King of the Jungle’

Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp is set to star in “King of the Jungle,” a dark comedy to be directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa from a script by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, it was confirmed Sunday. IMR International is handling foreign sales at Cannes with CAA repping domestic rights.

The pic is based on a true story first published in Condé Nast’s Wired magazine by Joshua Davis. The film is from Condé Nast Entertainment, Zaftig Films, MadRiver Pictures, and Epic Entertainment.

Based on the Wired article “John McAfee’s Last Stand,” the film tells the true story of 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,” according to a statement. In the film, a Wired magazine investigator “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 film will be produced by Condé Nast’s Dawn Ostroff and Jeremy Steckler; Zaftig’s Charlie Gogolak, Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, and Epic’s Joshua Davis. MadRiver’s Marc Butan and Epic’s Joshuah Bearman will executive produce.

Depp is represented by CAA; Alexander and Karaszewski are represented by CAA and attorney Christine Cuddy; Requa and Ficarra are represented by CAA and attorney Jeff Frankel; Condé Nast Entertainment is represented by CAA and attorney Ziffren Brittenham; and Davis is represented by UTA and attorney Linda Lichter.

IMR’s Cannes lineup includes “The Sisters Brothers,” directed by Jacques Audiard and starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Joaquin Phoenix, “Freak Shift,” directed by Ben Wheatley and starring Alicia Vikander, and “Dumplin,’” directed by Anne Fletcher and starring Jennifer Aniston.

News of the project was first published in Deadline.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 10

Leave a Reply


Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Seabee says:

    Please, please, please reconsider Johnny Depp. Nobody wanted to see him play a real-life psycho in Black Mass and no one will want to watch him in this. He has become a cartoon character. The McAfee story (and the angle the film is taking) are way too cool to have Johnny Depp chew the scenery ONCE AGAIN! Saw the Dateline on McAfee, he is a very convincing liar – a real sociopath. The part will require subtly and depth that Depp has lost through his demise of drugs and Disney movies.

  2. Johnny Depp Fan says:


  3. Bill B. says:

    I’m surprised anyone hired him for anything until they saw how the next Pirates movie does. He has been in flop after flop after flop after flop. His once interesting career has long ago gone off the rails and all the bad personal publicity hasn’t helped..

  4. Brandy Archipelago says:

    I think they will end up making it dull and uneventful. Depp will over do the sullen character and the film shots will be of him doing so. If this film is to make anything of what is shaping up to be another boring rendition of a famous person’s life, please put at least a third of the film depicting the local activities, festivities, especially what native flora and fauna are about, unusual animals in intriguing scene enabling mode to help the plot and by all means breath taking shots of sunsets, sunrises, sea, waterfalls, mountains, banana plantations in panoramic view with our lead running meandering among the fruit in a death defying chase of a sort, letting Depp get the workout he needs and trivia. Dialogue should be mostly short and crisp, some key dependent actors unusual in appearance and voice (example the waiter, truck driver) to add that something neat to stare at and not notice any superfluous dialogue. Therefore a potpourri of characters, impressions, environments and dealings more of the local life that would have attracted such a man to the area. Depp should have a wild saucy girlfriend who can dance, and has the dark flashing Spanish eyes that can speak volumes as she tries to reform his character to no avail. End it with him leaving on a sailboat to setup house on another island, sailing into the sunset with his mutt of a dog. But of course that’s my opinion.

  5. Denise Donovanova says:

    Johnny Depp keeps on winning. His roles seem to get more and more epic and interesting each day.

    I love his Pirates Franchise, love that he’s playing Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts Franchise, LAbrinth sounds like it’s going to be a great film about Tupac and Biggie’s murders.

    It really sounds like Depp is getting his grove back. Nice to hear. He’s too important of an actor to sweep under the rug and let slip away when you have an industry full of forgettable actors churning out garbage constantly, including a lot of his films the last few years.

  6. cadavra says:

    I hope his wine supply is not part of the budget! :-D

  7. Soon to be Famous says:

    Do we really need a movie about McAfee? Was he really that fascinating? He wasn’t exactly a Hunter S. Thompson, who also indulged in crazy behavior and drugs but was a great writer and fascinating guy. McAfee, not so much.

    • Denise Donovanova says:

      He sounds pretty dark and disturbing, I don’t know much about him though. I’m sure they will have some creative freedom to make it more interesting.

      Did he murder? That’s what the article states. That’s some messed up stuff.

    • We need a modern Apocalypse Now type movie.

      • Denise Donovanova says:

        I agree, or a Platoon, which Johnny had a minor role in.

        Hollywood doesn’t want to spend the money on these types of movies. They want to churn out reboots of garbage and rake in the bucks with horrible actors. This movie sounds more like an indie flick, which are always the best films to me.

More Film News from Variety