Well here’s a casting pairing that’s pretty irresistible. Michael Keaton and Seth Rogen are teaming up to star in the true-story film King of the Jungle, which will chronicle the true story of rogue tech magnate John McAfee. The creator of the McAfee Antivirus software cashed in his fortune, left civilization, and moved to the jungle in Belize where he built a Colonel Kurtz-like compound of guns, sex, and madness. Keaton will play McAfee, while Rogen will play Wired magazine investigator Ari Furman, who thought he was going to Belize for a traditional interview, only to find himself pulled into McAfee’s escalating paranoia, slippery reality, and murder.
The People v. O.J. Simpson and Ed Wood screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski wrote the screenplay based on Joshua Davis’s Wired magazine article, while Glenn Ficarra and John Requa—who have helmed films like Focus and Crazy, Stupid, Love.—are onboard to direct. While this may seem an odd fit for Ficarra and Requa, their first film I Love You, Philip Morris is another stranger-than-fiction story that was told with a hefty balance of heart and dark humor, so I’m pretty excited to see their take on McAfee. You’ll also recall that they wrote that Joker/Harley Quinn movie for DC that’s currently in development and may or may not be moving forward.
King of the Jungle isn’t yet set up at a studio but will be sold at the upcoming American Film Market. And while Rogen has become a prolific producer, writer, and director in his own right recently, he’s only an actor on this project, which speaks to the strength of the material at hand. He’ll next be seen opposite Charlize Theron in an untitled Lionsgate romantic comedy and voices Pumbaa in The Lion King. Keaton, meanwhile, is still flying high after his terrific back-to-back turns in Birdman and Spotlight and will next be seen in Tim Burton’s live-action Dumbo movie.