Just in time for the recent 30th anniversary of the execution of Ted Bundy, one of the most notorious serial killers in American history, there has been a lot of buzz surrounding his life and story. Netflix recently dropped the chilling docu-series Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes. Then, last week the streaming service picked up the crime drama Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile starring Zac Efron as Bundy. Both projects are helmed by true-crime filmmaker Joe Berlinger. Coincidence? Berlinger says yes. Here’s how he put it:
I wish I could say that I had this grand plan to own Bundy in 2019, but it all was just kind of happenstance.
Speaking of shocking! Considering the filmmaker has a hand in both Ted Bundy films, one would imagine he planned to have them in conversation at the same time. However, per an interview with Deadline, Joe Berlinger said it just kind of happened that way.
He never intended to work on both Ted Bundy movies at once. The exclusive recordings featured in the Netflix docu-series landed on his desk in February 2017 and the script for Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, penned by Michael Werwie “fell into his lap” in April. Berlinger explained the difference between the project with the following:
The docuseries is a deep descent into the mind of the killer, so we start to understand how somebody like that could have gotten away with all these bad things for so long. And the movie is inside the mind and the experience of a victim.
So while the recent Netflix docu-series release features real interviews with the serial killer while he was on death row, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile is a dramatic narrative that centers on his longtime girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer (played by Lily Collins) as she learns over the years of his criminal activity. Kloepfer ignored the signs of the infamously handsome serial killer’s wrongdoings before playing a part in his arrest.
It’s also interesting that both projects will find a home on Netflix, but this likeness doesn’t seem to be purposeful either. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January as one of the most talked about new movies that were featured. Of course, the streaming giant had to nab the rights to the movie for $9 million, though it certainly helps for it to own both as a set.
A release date for Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile hasn’t yet been set, but it likely won’t start streaming until the 2019 awards season. Since the streaming service sees awards potential in the project, the studio will also reportedly opt for a theatrical run as Roma had.