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Feature
The Tech Biopics Hollywood Needs To Make
With two McAfee films in the works, what other stories should be told on screen?

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The utterly bonkers life of anti-virus software pioneer John McAfee is now the subject of two movies in development – and we started wondering which other figures of tech would make for good biopic fodder. After all, once you’ve got their exciting story all you need to finish the movie is your mum’s permission to shoot in the garage, a tiny budget for outdated computers and a bunch of ratty hoodies. We take a look at the fascinating stories behind some of the tech world’s biggest names…

WORDS JAMES WHITE
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The Tech Biopics Hollywood Needs To Make | John McAfee And McAfee
John McAfee And McAfee

You might not think that someone who began his career working for NASA’s Institute For Space Studies in New York and then Lockheed would end up a paranoid oddball on the run from the authorities. But then not everyone is John McAfee.

You probably know him best as the man behind one of the best-selling anti-virus programmes, to which he gave his name – a sure sign of a healthy ego looking for an outlet. In a blend of both canny market awareness and luck, McAfee’s product arrived as the need for virus software blew up like Violet Beauregarde in Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. After making a fortune hunting down and removing trojans, worms and nasty invaders, McAfee cashed out of McAfee Associates and moved to Belize to start working on other start-ups.

That’s when things went a little haywire. In April of last year, the local gang suppression unit raided his property. Turns out he’d been busy doing a Heisenberg – or for non-Breaking Bad fans, manufacturing unlicensed drugs. And it seems that earning all that money had simply increased his innate paranoia and wayward tendencies. He was living the girls & guns high life, but had forgotten the legal ramifications.

Increasing the confusion was the fact that fellow US expatriate Gregory Viant Faull was found dead of a gunshot wound, a crime for which McAfee was hauled in as a person of interest, though no one was charged. McAfee fled Belize for Guatemala, pleaded for asylum, faked a heart attack and was eventually deported back to the US last December.

He’s an experienced yoga teacher, which makes us seriously question the calming benefits of sweaty stretching. Worst of all, he claims he never uses the anti-virus software that bears his name, as he finds it “too annoying.” You and the rest of us, mate.

We’d cast: Johnny Depp in full-on charismatic oddball mode.

Tone: Quirky indie drama - think Fear & Loathing meets The Rum Diaries meets Blow.

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Your Comments

1 The Great and Venerable Woz
I'd love to see a film just about him, it would be so tragically heartwarming... And I already have the title right there! More

Posted by kisswithatear on Saturday January 26, 2013, 17:00

2 We've already had a Napster film!
It was called The Italian Job and it actually turned out Seth Green was the real creator! More

Posted by TPM007 on Saturday January 26, 2013, 11:17


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