After releasing new documentary series The Ted Bundy tapes, Netflix has added a new movie based on the serial killer to its slate, acquiring the rights to Hollywood biopic Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile.
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Following a bidding war with other distributors, the platform is close to winning the US rights for the movie – which stars Zac Efron as the man who murdered at least 30 women – according to THR. It remains to be seen how the film will be distributed in the UK.
The feature chronicles the crimes of Bundy – who was executed in the electric chair in 1989 – from the perspective of his longtime girlfriend, Elizabeth Kloepfer (played by Lily Collins), who refused to believe the horrid truth about her partner for years.
The film also stars John Malkovich as Edward Cowart, the judge who sent Bundy to death row after he was found guilty of killing two female Florida State University students in 1979.
Jim Parsons – AKA Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory – also appears, playing lead prosecutor Larry Simpson in the Bundy trial.
Although Efron’s performance has been praised by critics, some have worried such a film romanticises the killer. As the top-ranked comment on the movie’s trailer reads: “This looks way too… fun… for a movie about a serial killer.”
The same concerns were raised about recent Netflix docuseries Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, especially after the “Hot Ted Bundy” phenomenon in which Twitter users started complimenting the mass murderer’s looks.
However, others have pointed out that Bundy’s appearance was a key reason he was able to commit his crimes.
He was regarded by some of his victims as handsome and charismatic, traits he exploited to sexually assault, murder and decapitate young females across the US in the 1970s.