As I recall, when it was announced that Zac Efron would be playing Ted Bundy in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, the Internet received the news with a collective, “Ugh.” Efron as Bundy? And also, why do we insist on continuing to turn serial killers into celebrities? What is there to humanize about Ted Bundy?
But I’ll tell you: The concept for Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile is a fascinating one. It’s told from the perspective of Ted Bundy’s girlfriend, Elizabeth Kloepfer (Lily Collins), with whom Bundy was in a relationship while he was murdering women (Kloepfer also helped lead investigators to Bundy, and yet, the two remained in contact even after Bundy was imprisoned). I think the movie is more about Kloepfer, how Bundy was able to gaslight her, and how she continued to be romantic with Bundy even after she suspected/knew about Bundy’s crimes.
I also suspect that the subject material will be handled appropriately, as Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile comes from Joe Berlinger, the co-director of the Paradise Lost documentaries about the West Memphis Three.
The film debuts at Sundance early next year. Here’s a first gander.