Vulnerabilities / Threats
12:52 PM

McAfee's Escape From Belize Turns Movie

Tale of eccentric antivirus founder John McAfee's escape to Guatemala and Miami set to be adapted by the team behind Crazy, Stupid, Love.

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The story of eccentric 67-year-old antivirus firm founder John McAfee's escape from Belize, to Guatemala, to Miami, is set to hit the big screen.

Warner Bros. has optioned the rights to "John McAfee's Last Stand," a Wired story written by contributor Joshua Davis, reported Hollywood Reporter.

John Requa and Glenn Ficarr will reportedly adapt the story, as well as direct and produce the film. The pair previously directed the 2011 Warner Bros. comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love, which earned $143 million worldwide. Both Wired publisher Conde Nast Entertainment and Davis will serve as movie co-producers.

[ Can a virus attack your phone? Read Does Mobile Antivirus Software Really Protect Smartphones? ]

Last month, McAfee himself sold the rights to his life story to Montreal-based Impact Future Media. But the Warner Bros. movie deal would appear to be a separate endeavor, and might not even involve McAfee. Davis didn't immediately respond to an emailed request for comment about whether McAfee is involved in the Last Stand production.

Regardless, Requa and Ficarr would seem to be an ideal choice for relaying McAfee's madcap tale, as the pair previously wrote Bad Santa, as well as wrote and directed I Love You Phillip Morris.

McAfee is an information security expert who founded McAfee Associates in 1987, which pioneered the practice of distributing antivirus software as shareware. His company, later renamed Network Associates, and then simply known as McAfee, was purchased by chipmaker Intel in 2010 for $7.68 billion.

Before then, McAfee had settled into a life that by some accounts was a virtual retirement, but according to others perhaps not all that it seemed. Notably, McAfee drew the suspicion of local authorities, who admitted that they were at a loss to explain exactly what he was or wasn't doing in Belize, although it was suspected he might be selling drugs. An April 2012 police raid on McAfee's compound turned up no drugs, but did recover 10 firearms, one of which was unlicensed, which earned McAfee a night in jail. Police confiscated the weapons, as well as 320 rounds of ammunition, reported Davis.

Subsequently, McAfee fled Belize for Guatemala after being sought for questioning by police about the Nov. 10 murder of his neighbor, fellow U.S. citizen Gregory Viant Faull, 52. McAfee accused Belizean officials of framing him for Faull's murder. The country's prime minister denied those assertions and questioned McAfee's sanity.

After fleeing overland and by boat, McAfee ultimately arrived in Guatemala, was arrested, and saw his request for asylum rejected. But instead of returning him to Belize -- and to be clear, Belize has issued no warrant for McAfee's arrest -- officials deported him to a place of his choosing in the United States. McAfee chose Miami, and after his arrival promised to publish information relating to high-level corruption in the Belizean government.

Earlier this month, McAfee began publishing what he said would be a series of exposes, stemming from still-ongoing research being conducted by his network of paid spies and informants in Belize. Notably, McAfee claimed to have discovered that Belizean government officials were granting passports to members of the extremist group Hezbollah, who were then infiltrating the United States with the help of the Mexican Zetas criminal syndicate.

Interestingly, McAfee claimed to have uncovered that operation as part of a revenge strategy against the Belizean government, which included giving 75 laptops that he'd installed with spyware -- and paid a team of four to remotely monitor around the clock -- to key telecommunications employees and government officials.

McAfee has since relocated to Portland, Ore., in part to work with artist Chad Essley on a graphic novel about his life, reported Willamette Week. The work is set to be called The Hinterland.

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User Rank: Apprentice
1/21/2013 | 4:48:11 PM
re: McAfee's Escape From Belize Turns Movie
Interesting that Belize hasn't asked, as I can't imagine that the U.S. would refuse if the evidence was credible (but Mr. McAfee is rich enough to afford very good lawyers). So maybe he's right that the charges are mere political harassment, but I detect more than a touch of narcissism about the man.
User Rank: Apprentice
1/19/2013 | 2:14:48 PM
re: McAfee's Escape From Belize Turns Movie
A repugnant character, he should be deported back to face justice in Belize. This bozo cashed out $100m when he sold his company a decade ago, then moved to Belize to avoid US taxes. Now he runs back to the US to avoid Belize justice. He takes refuge in US but does not want to pay taxes that he can very well afford as a member of the 1%. Now he wants to cash out again in the US with this silly movie idea bashing Belize, the country that gave him refuge for a decade. Any American who pays to shoot or to see this movie is complicit in the John McAfee's crazy exploitation saga.
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