Seth Rogen (This is the End, The Disaster Artist) and Academy Award nominee Michael Keaton (Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Spotlight) will star in King of the Jungle, a comedy to be directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (I Love You Phillip Morris) from a script by Golden Globe and Emmy Award winners Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski.
The film 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 Endurance Media, who have come on board to co-finance, and Epic Entertainment. IMR International will introduce King of the Jungle to foreign buyers at the AFM next week. CAA Media Finance are representing the U.S. rights.
Based on the Wired magazine article “John McAfee’s Last Stand,” the film tells the wild true story of rogue tech magnate John McAfee (Michael Keaton), 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 (Seth Rogen) 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 Jeremy Steckler of Condé Nast Entertainment, Zaftig’s Charlie Gogolak, Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, MadRiver’s Marc Butan, Endurance’s Steve Richards, and Epic’s Joshua Davis.
The multi-hyphenate Rogen starred in and produced the critically acclaimed The Disaster Artist for A24 and Sausage Party for Columbia Pictures. He is currently in post on the untitled Lionsgate comedy, starring alongside Charlize Theron, and best known for roles in This is the End, Steve Jobs, Superbad, Knocked Up, and Pineapple Express. He was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program for Da Ali G Show.
Keaton won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), and starred in the Academy Award winning Spotlight, directed by Tom McCarthy. He can next be seen in Tim Burton’s Dumbo for Disney which will release next year.
Rogen is represented by UTA and Principal Entertainment LA. Keaton is represented by ICM Partners and Ziffren Brittenham. The slate at IMR also includes: Justin Kurzel’s Ruin, starring Margot Robbie and Matthias Schoenaerts; What is Life Worth starring Michael Keaton; Olivier Assayas’ Wasp Network starring Penélope Cruz, Pedro Pascal, Gael García Bernal and Edgar Ramírez; and John Michael McDonough’s The Forgiven.
When King of the Jungle was first announced in May 2017, Johnny Depp was signed to star as anti-virus company founder John McAffe. At the time, no actor had signed on for the Seth Rogen role of Ari Furman. Aside from the casting changes, not much else has changed about the project since it was first taken to the Cannes International Film Festival last year.