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Zac Efron Says He Wanted To Make Ted Bundy Film ‘For The Victims’

The actor is defending his decision to portray the infamous serial killer in the upcoming Netflix film, "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile."

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt
Zac Efron

Ahead of the release of Netflix’s Ted Bundy movie, Zac Efron, who stars as the notoriously brutal serial rapist and murderer, has reiterated that his goal in taking the role was never to glamorize Bundy’s crimes, but to raise awareness and show respect for the lives Bundy stole.

“I wanted to make this film for the victims,” Efron said during an interview with The Guardian this week.

“Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile” tells the Bundy story through the eyes of someone who was closest to him: his long-time girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer, who was in a relationship with Bundy even while he was secretly raping and murdering women on a regular basis. She even reported her suspicions about her boyfriend to the police, and later wrote a book about the experience.

The upcoming Netflix film closes with a list of all of Bundy’s known victims, according to The Guardian. Bundy admitted to killing 30 women before his execution in 1989, but some suspect he may have killed more.

However, Efron was adamant that the film is not a “glamorization” of Bundy’s heinous acts, telling The Guardian that it was important to him that they “tell the story purposefully without a lot of violence.”

In fact, the only scenes featuring violence against women are at the end of the film, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.

The director behind the film, Joe Berlinger, who previously directed Netflix’s documentary “Conversations With A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes,” previously denied that “Extremely Wicked” glamorized Bundy, telling the Los Angeles Times in February that “a film that portrays not killing but the seduction of the serial killer which allowed him to elude capture for so long — while also making a commentary about the nature of our obsession with true crime — to me is the opposite of glorification.”

Efron reiterated that point this week, telling The Guardian that the film could be viewed as “a warning message.”

“I would love, not necessarily just my fans, but anybody who watches the movie, to really invest time in who you trust yourself with, and who you think you’re safe with,” he said.

“Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile” hits the streaming service on May 3.