Zac Efron has been a good “Neighbor” in the past, but you won’t want him living next door this time. The handsome abs magnate will play handsome murder magnate Ted Bundy in an upcoming movie.
“Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile” will incorporate the perspective of Bundy’s longtime girlfriend, Elizabeth Kloepfer, a role that hasn’t been cast yet. Kloepfer suspected Bundy was responsible for the murders of at least 30 women and ultimately turned him into the police.
Joe Berlinger, best known for his “Paradise Lost” documentary trilogy about the murder convictions of the West Memphis Three, will direct the movie. First-time screenwriter Michael Werwie, who also adapted the nonfiction serial killer book Lost Girls as an Amazon vehicle for Sarah Paulson, wrote the script, which was on the 2012 Black List. In a 2013 interview, Werwie said the movie will forego the violence of Bundy’s murders in favor of a psychological examination.
“The common thread among everyone who knew him was that he had this facade that led you to believe that there was no possible way for this to be true,” Werwie said. “It was essentially a con-man story. It was a classic unreliable narrator. … And remember, the drama is not from his admission of guilt ― it’s from his admission of guilt to the person he loves most.”
Efron has gone dramatic before, namely in “The Paperboy” and “Parkland.” Still, this is a left turn for a guy who last year starred in “Dirty Grandpa” and “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” and will soon be seen in a big-screen “Baywatch” reboot. But it also makes sense: Bundy was infamous for using his charisma to lure victims, and that’s basically what Efron did to America. This will be an interesting opportunity for the 29-year-old actor to break out of his bro-comedy bubble.