STXfilms is in final negotiations to acquire U.S. rights to Glenn Ficarra and John Requa’s “King of the Jungle,” starring Seth Rogen and Michael Keaton. STX is in talks with IMR International, which introduced the project to buyers at AFM and continues international sales at the European Film Market this week.
STX will commit to a wide U.S. theatrical release for the film, which is based on a true story. It is adapted from Joshua Davis’ Wired magazine article “John McAfee’s Last Stand” by Golden Globe- and Emmy-winning writers Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (“The People vs. Larry Flynt”). It marks the latest collaboration for directing team Ficarra and Requa (“Crazy, Stupid, Love”).
Keaton and Rogen were announced as attached to the project last October. Keaton will play rogue tech magnate John McAfee, creator of the McAfee Antivirus software, who cashed in his fortune and moved to the jungle in Belize, where he set up a “Heart of Darkness”-like compound of guns, sex and madness. The role was initially to be played by Johnny Depp.
Rogen will play Wired magazine investigator Ari Furman, who accepts what he thinks is a run-of-the-mill assignment to interview McAfee. But when he arrives in Belize, he finds himself pulled into McAfee’s Colonel Kurtz-like paranoia, slippery grasp on reality and a murder.
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The film is produced by Jeremy Steckler of Condé Nast Entertainment, Charlie Gogolak for Zaftig Films, Marc Butan for MadRiver Pictures, Steve Richards for Endurance Media, and Joshua Davis for Epic Entertainment, alongside Ficarra and Requa. Endurance Media is also co-financing.
CAA Media Finance are brokering the deal with Carolyn Steinmetz and Jordan Lichtman at STX. Rogen is represented by UTA and Principal Entertainment LA. Keaton is represented by ICM Partners and Ziffren Brittenham.