Zac Efron has made a notable career transition in recent years. Kicking off his superstar status as a Disney icon, he has matured into hard-R comedies like Neighbors and Baywatch and he recently jumped back into the musical world for The Greatest Showman. Having said that, it now looks like Efron is due for one of his darkest turns yet, as he will soon step into the boots of serial killer Ted Bundy for Joe Berlinger's Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile -- and he looks damn good in the part. Check out Efron's newly-released first look as Bundy, below.
Despite a caption that invokes a Barney Stinson pick up line from How I Met Your Mother, that first look at Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile is precisely what the title suggests. The black and white image shows Zac Efron (with an fair resemblance to the actual Ted Bundy) having his mugshot taken while staring off to the side of the frame. There's something inherently creepy about the image (likely due to how much real-life Bundy imagery that it conjures) and it seems to bode well for the project's potential as a whole.
The decision to cast a conventionally-handsome actor for this particular serial killer role is not merely a matter of Hollywood trying to make the movie look good. Ted Bundy was notorious for his put-together and overall pleasant exterior, even to the point at which some opted to label him as "The Handsome Devil." However, that idea extends beyond the mere fact that he's a good-looking man. Ted Bundy was also notoriously charming (or at least far more charming than anyone would ever suspect a serial killer of being) and he even defended himself in court when he was captured and put on trial.
In fact, you can check out the real Ted Bundy's final interview before his execution below to see how Efron stacks up.
That charm obviously proved to be in vain in the end, but it shows just how much a guy like Ted Bundy defied the traditional conventions and archetypes that we often associate with serial killers. This picture doesn't necessarily offer us too much of a look at the nature of Zac Efron's performance as Bundy, but the chillingly-spot-on aesthetic may promise some great character moments.
Zac Efron's physical resemblance to Ted Bundy aside, it's not hard to understand why this first look at Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile seems so accurate when we look at the talent behind the camera. Director Joe Berlinger has spent the bulk of his career working in documentaries, with a notable emphasis on true crime stories -- a genre that has experienced a boom with must-watch shows like Making A Murderer and podcasts like Serial. This seems to lend a sense that he could be the right man to bring this serial killer story to life.
Make sure to stay tuned for more updates related to Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile as more details related to the project become available to us. For now, you can catch Zac Efron in The Greatest Showman, and those of you looking for more information on all of the films set to hit the big screen in 2018 can take a look at CinemaBlend's movie premiere guide and fill out your moviegoing calendars accordingly!
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Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.