Zac Efron wants moviegoers to know that Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, the upcoming film based on serial killer Ted Bundy, is in no way a celebration of Bundy. As seen in the Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile trailer, Efron stars in the film as the notorious serial killer, and this past week marked the 30th anniversary of Bundy's electric chair demise. On the anniversary, Netflix released a docuseries Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, which detailed Bundy's horrific crimes. Adding to that, Efron's sentiments come just after the streaming platform had been pleading with viewers to stop lusting after Bundy.
The upcoming biopic had its recent premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and offers a new perspective on Bundy's life and crimes. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile will be portrayed through the eyes of Elizabeth Kloepfer, Bundy's longterm love interest who was in denial of the truth for years. Efron's performance has already received a stamp of approval, as real-life survivor Kathy Kleiner Rubin thinks Efron is perfectly portraying the notorious killer. With many believing the teaser portrays Bundy in a positive light, Efron has now offered his take on the upcoming film.
Speaking with Variety, Efron stated the movie wouldn't be a "celebration" or "glorification" of the killer. He mentions that he felt a responsibility to not let the project turn into a celebration, but rather an honest take on who Bundy was as a person. Efron did some studying for the role, as he spent time talking to those who knew Bundy and listening to their reactions of the deceased killer. When addressing the fine line he knew he had to walk with the film, Efron answered:
“I feel a responsibility to make sure that this movie is not a celebration of Ted Bundy, or a glorification of him. But, definitely, a psychological study of who this person was. In that, there’s honesty.”
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile is new territory for Efron who is still best-known for his time as Troy Bolton in High School Musical. The casting of Efron as a serial killer was certainly a surprising choice for those who have been following his career since his Disney years. Despite the peculiar nature of the casting, Efron has stated that he noticed some similarities between himself and Bundy while preparing for the role. The upcoming thriller is a departure of sorts for Efron who usually stars in comedies, but he is keeping up with the trend of past Disney stars gravitating towards darker genres.
Bundy certainly wasn't a man that committed acts worth celebrating, but it looks like the upcoming biopic is simply portraying Bundy the way everyone else saw him. And, while Efron's involvement will probably spark backlash with some, devoted fans will get to see him expand his acting range. With all the recent buzz surrounding the movie, a theatrical release date for Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile should be announced sooner rather than later.