Most people know who Ted Bundy was. He was a serial killer, kidnapper, rapist, burglar and necrophile who was convicted and sentenced to death by electrocution in 1979. In 1989, he began to confess to his murders, a total of 36 victims. However, investigators believe that the number of actual victims could be, and probably is, higher. Bundy’s final day was Jan. 24, 1989 at Florida State Prison. Recently, at the Sundance Film Festival, another Ted Bundy film is coming out, with Zac Efron staring as Ted Bundy. This has raised a lot of controversy.
After the announcement that “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile” will be coming out this year, the internet exploded with controversy around the film and Efron. Many see it as a reminder to the victims’ families about what happened. Others find it offensive that Efron, who is charming, is playing Bundy, who was also charming. Efron has been famous since his “High School Musical” days and loved by almost every teenager. Even people who aren’t fans of his might agree that he has charm, but others aren’t looking at that fact that that was how Bundy was. Since Bundy was charming, he was able to get close to his victims, no questions asked. Some people are seeing this as a way of romanticising a serial killer, instead of trying to tell the truth, no matter how it comes off.
Netflix also recently released their own documentary on Ted Bundy: “Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes.” Since it was a documentary and not starring Efron, it wasn’t seen as controversial. Also, “Extremely Wicked” is getting a lot of backlash because many think that casting Efron as Bundy is romanticizing the gruesome reality. Many think that Sundance is over-sexualizing and over-romanticizing the acts which Bundy committed. Whatever people think, the film couldn’t be more accurate with the casting of Efron as him.
The director of the new film also directed the “The Ted Bundy Tapes.” On Feb. 3, Netflix purchased “Extremely Wicked” for $9 million from Sundance. With a fall release, the film is most likely coming to Netflix; however, an exact release date is unclear.