Netflix is kicking off 2019 with a one-two punch for true crime obsessives. Just weeks ago, the streaming service debuted its docu-series Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, and now it is following that up with the purchase of the Zac Efron-helmed Ted Bundy biopic Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. After premiering at Sundance last week, Zac Efron's Ted Bundy movie is coming to Netflix officially, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
The purchase by Netflix should not come as too huge of a shock. The streaming giant is fresh off of working with director Joe Berlinger on Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, and Berlinger is also the director of Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. The Zac Efron-led biopic also serves as the perfect follow-up to that docu-series. What is shocking, though, is how much money Netflix reportedly shelled out to acquire the rights to the movie. The Hollywood Reporter's source claimed that Netflix paid $9 million for the flick at the end of an intense bidding war with STX and Lionsgate.
Although Netflix is obviously best known as a streaming service, this does not mean that Zac Efron's turn as Ted Bundy will be relegated only to TVs and computers screens. Netflix will reportedly give Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile a theatrical run during awards season this coming fall. Of course, viewers will also be able to stream the movie on Netflix when it is released as well. The move is similar to how Netflix released Oscar contender Roma this past year.
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile will tell the story of the infamous serial killer Ted Bundy from the perspective of his girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer, who had trouble believing that her boyfriend could actually be a killer. The movie marks a notable turn for Zac Efron, who portrays Bundy. Efron comes from teen romantic comedies and has since transitioned into raunchy adult comedies, but Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile will be the first time that Efron goes hard drama to portray an insidious character. The new movie also stars Lily Collins as Elizabeth Kloepfer, and John Malkovich, Jim Parsons, and Kaya Scodelario round out the cast.
This upcoming movie was met with a whirlwind of controversy after its first trailer dropped a couple weeks ago, as critics feared that the footage seemed to glorify or romanticize Ted Bundy. Director Joe Berlinger responded to those accusations by telling Bustle that he believes the film is a fair portrayal of the "psychopathic seduction" of Ted Bundy:
I think the idea of this particular story, making a movie about Bundy, equals glorification of him is a very naive and knee-jerk reaction. Because if you actually watch the movie, the last thing we’re doing is glorifying him. He gets his due at the end, but we’re portraying the experience of how one becomes a victim to that kind of psychopathic seduction.
Look for Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile to hit theaters and then Netflix sometime this fall.