Zac Efron has done a damn good job of ditching his teen heartthrob status over the years, staking out a space for himself as a reliable comedic actor with the odd straight dramatic part. But his upcoming role as Ted Bundy might put that squeaky-clean image to rest for good, as he’ll play one of the most notorious serial killers in history in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, which will premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.
To mark the announcement of the premiere, Efron tweeted “Ready for Sundance!” along with an official still of him in character as Bundy. Additionally, there’s a further image from the Sundance website and you can see both of them for yourself down in the gallery below.
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For those of you that don’t know the particulars of Bundy’s crimes, he’s one of the major templates for the serial killer in popular fiction: a handsome, charming psychopath who confessed to committing thirty gruesome and violent murders across seven states in the mid-70s. His crimes were vicious, ranging from kidnapping, rape, home invasion and necrophilia. He was also notable for escaping from custody on several occasions, as well as defending himself at his own trial – which was screened on national television.
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile will tell the story from the perspective of his girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer (played by Lily Collins), who’ll be “struggling to accept the reality of her boyfriend’s nature.” Given that he once kept the severed heads of his victims as trophies in his apartment, this is probably going to be quite the struggle.
Sundance 2019 runs from January 24th to February 3rd, so expect to see a lot of reviews popping up around then. In the meantime, I suspect there’ll be a trailer soon enough, which will allow us to make an informed decision over whether Efron has the acting chops to capture one of the most shocking criminals in American history or not.