Zac Efron has come a long way from his Disney Channel days.
The former “High School Musical” star is portraying infamous serial killer Ted Bundy in the upcoming thriller, “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile," which tells Bundy’s story from the point of view of his longtime girlfriend, Elizabeth Kloepfer (portrayed in the film by “To The Bone” star Lily Collins). Kloepfer eventually turned Bundy in to police after initially being unwilling to believe that her partner could be capable of the brutality and violence that he was eventually convicted of, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The first official image from the film, recently released by the Sundance Institute, shows Efron and Collins as Bundy and Kloepfer as they celebrate a young girl’s 2nd birthday — a disturbingly domestic scene when one considers that Bundy confessed to more than 30 murders before he was put to death.
Efron shared the first look behind the scenes of the film on his social media accounts earlier this year. One shot shows Efron-as-Bundy posing for a booking photo, while an Instagram photo captioned, “when Ted met Liz,” offers a look at the doomed couple meeting for the first time. Another eerie pic shows Efron behind the wheel of a car, possibly portraying Bundy as he prowled the streets at night for potential victims, while a fourth photo offers a clear view of Efron in full ‘70s attire, feathered hair and all.
Efron’s most recent Instagram pic seems to be a still from a scene featuring Bundy in a courtroom setting.
The Joe Berlinger-directed film will be included in the Sundance Film Festival’s lineup of feature films set to premiere in 2019, the Associated Press reports.
While similar films have been criticized for feeding into the public’s seemingly unending fascination with white male serial killers, Efron told reporters earlier this year that the film "doesn’t really glorify Ted Bundy.”
“He wasn’t a person to be glorified,” Efron told Entertainment Tonight in March. “It simply tells a story and sort of how the world was able to be charmed over by this guy who was notoriously evil and the vexing position that so many people were put in, the world was put in. It was fun to go and experiment in that realm of reality.”
[Photo: Getty Images; Sundance Institute, Brian Douglas]
Get all your true crime news from Oxygen. Coverage of the latest true crime stories and famous cases explained, as well as the best TV shows, movies and podcasts in the genre. And don't miss our own podcast, Martinis & Murder!