Joe Berlinger’s Ted Bundy movie Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile starring Zac Efron has been one of the most buzzed about movies since it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last month. There has been a lot of discussion about the movie, and we’ve been wondering when the rest of the world will get to see it. Well, we still don’t know exactly when it will land but we do know where, because Netflix has officially scooped up the movie.
Netflix has purchased the U.S. and some foreign distribution rights for the Voltage Pictures title for $9 million according to Deadline. So domestic and some foreign audiences will be able to catch the film on the streaming service. Although Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile is heading to the small screen, Netflix apparently sees awards potential in the film and is also planning a theatrical run for it come awards season.
This is Netflix’s biggest move in the Sundance acquisition market as the goliath streaming service remained relatively quiet while competitor Amazon Studios spent big bucks. The studio that in years past snagged The Big Sick and Manchester by the Sea scooped up multiple films including the Shia LaBeouf-written Honey Boy and paid a cool $13 million for the Mindy Kaling produced and written comedy Late Night.
Yet, while Amazon was the big mover and shaker in Sundance acquisitions, Netflix made a calculated move-- buying the distribution rights to the film that has the most talk surrounding it. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile has received some criticism for Zac Efron’s portrayal as a charming and attractive Ted Bundy and the idea that the film celebrates the serial killer.
This controversy has people talking about the film, which will bring extra attention to it and when it premieres on Netflix. Smart money says audiences will take the chance on it to judge for themselves, given all the controversy. This acquisition is also a savvy move considering that Netflix recently premiered a buzzy Ted Bundy documentary series Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, also from Joe Berlinger.
That series, along with the trailer and discussion around Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile (as well as the 30th anniversary of the killer’s execution) have driven a lot of interest around the infamous killer. Netflix, which is known for its true crime binges, can capitalize on that and be the go-to destination with the pairing of the doc series and this movie.
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile will also provide a different look at the horrific actions of Ted Bundy. While Zac Efron says it is not a celebration, the film tells the story through the perspective of his longtime girlfriend, who believed him innocent.
Based on the plan to push it during awards season, it stands to reason that Netflix will take a similar approach as it did with Roma and not premiere Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile on the streaming service until late this year. But given all the talk about Ted Bundy of late, you’ve got to think dropping it sooner, while the iron is hot, would get more eyeballs on it.
But, maybe Netflix likes the Academy love it got with this year’s Oscar nominations and is hoping for more from the film and perhaps for Zac Efron’s performance come next awards season.
We’ll keep you updated when Netflix sets a release date for Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile. In the meantime, check out our release schedule to see all the biggest movies heading to theaters this year.