There is a certain surface image that we have of Zac Efron as an actor thanks to his roles in things like High School Musical, Neighbors and Baywatch. That image is about to be blown out of the water, though, because Zac Efron’s next role is that of Ted Bundy in the upcoming film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, And Vile. Check out the actor taking an unsettling turn as the notorious serial killer in the trailer for the film below.
Zac Efron often plays charismatic, funny and charming characters, which makes his role here all the more perfect, because it plays on our preconceived notions about the actor, just as Ted Bundy himself went against what you would expect a serial killer to be. Ted Bundy was all of those things and Zac Efron is bringing that to the role, but, beneath the winning smile there is a hint of something far darker.
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, And Vile knows all of that, and for a good part of this trailer, it is showing us a loving father and devoted boyfriend, who is charming the media and everyone around him. This is no Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs; surely Bundy could not have done these things.
If you knew nothing about Ted Bundy you might believe that and think he is being framed, but, because you do, the effect is entirely different. You are unsettled because this is Ted Bundy, but also because of what Zac Efron is bringing to the role, a certain look, expression or movement that provides a glimpse at his true nature.
This works especially well because Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, And Vile is told through the perspective of his long-time girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer, played by Lily Collins, who ignored the signs, and for years refused to believe that he was guilty. She may have been seeing the good and ignoring the bad and this trailer operates in much the same way.
While it goes without saying that the crimes are heinous and everything the title of the film says and more, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, And Vile looks like a really fun movie that isn’t nearly as bleak as something like Zodiac. The tone is zippy and Zac Efron looks hugely entertaining in the role. This trailer even has some funny moments, like the very end where Ted Bundy escapes and is running down the street in a robe.
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, And Vile premieres at the Sundance Film Festival this month but a wide release has not yet been set. We’ll keep you updated when it stakes its claim on the calendar, and be sure to check out our 2019 Release Schedule for all of the biggest movies heading to theaters this year.