In the latest bit of casting news for Ted Bundy thriller Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile, Metallica singer James Hetfield has signed on. It's not too unusual for any given movie to have a casting choice that kind of comes out of nowhere. After all, many actors like to stretch the limits of their abilities or try to change their general public perception by playing against their usual type. That seems to be the case for Zac Efron, who is looking to pivot away from his comedic roles in films like Neighbors and Baywatch by playing infamous serial killer Ted Bundy in Extremely Wicked.
Extremely Wicked recently added another surprising addition to its cast, as The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons came aboard to to play Larry Simpson, the lead prosecuting attorney at Bundy's 1979 trial. While Parsons is an acclaimed Emmy winner, his success has come while bringing to life exaggerated comic foil Sheldon Cooper, and it's kind of hard to imagine him displaying the necessary gravitas on-screen to play a high-powered lawyer. Still, it's very possible that Parsons is talented enough to pull the feat off.
Now, Deadline reports on perhaps the oddest cast addition to Extremely Wicked yet, depending on one's perspective. Metallica frontman James Hetfield has signed on to portray Officer Bob Hayward, the first cop to ever arrest Bundy. While it might not be too hard to imagine the big, gruff Hetfield as an officer of the law, this will be his first acting role ever. He's appeared in movies and TV shows before, but only ever as himself. Playing a character will be a new frontier for the seasoned rocker.
A likely reason for Hetfield's decision to choose Extremely Wicked as the venue for his dramatic acting debut is that the film is being directed by Joe Berlinger. Berlinger is primarily famous for his work directing documentary features, such as the Paradise Lost trilogy about the West Memphis Three case. Berlinger also helmed the emotional Metallica: Some Kind of Monster documentary, which took a behind the scenes look at the turmoil underneath the surface of Metallica's fiery stage personas. Thus, Hetfield likely trusts Berlinger implicitly to guide his performance.
With Zac Efron, Jim Parsons, and James Hetfield already sounding like the potential beginning of an "all walk into a bar" joke, one wonders what surprising cast announcement for Extremely Wicked will be made next. Hopefully Berlinger is up to the task of gelling these seemingly disparate elements into a cohesive whole.