Maybe you just got finished with Netflix‘s four-part Ted Bundy docuseries Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes and thought to yourself, “What else can I watch about this fuckin’ guy?” Then you searched the rest of the service and found yourself SOL.
Well according to The Hollywood Reporter, that will no longer be the case for true crime buffs, provided you can show a little patience. The streaming giant has apparently edged out STX and Lionsgate and is closing in on a $9 million deal that would give them the U.S. rights (and some international rights) to the Bundy biopic starring Zac Efron. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile centers around Bundy’s crimes via the viewpoint of his longtime girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer, who in the film refuses to believe he’s guilty despite numerous signs pointing in that direction.
For those wondering how Efron and Extremely Wicked fared with critics at the Sundance Festival, the near consensus seems to be that Efron is great and the overall film isn’t. “I think [Efron’s] startlingly good: controlled, magnetic, audacious, committed, and eerily right,” Variety‘s Owen Gleiberman wrote. He went on to say, “Ted is a kind of actor, a maniac playing a role, yet doing it with such sincerity and flair that it’s not just a role. It’s the person a part of him wants to be.”
Vulture‘s Emily Yoshida added “If the narrative film only exists to give us the unsettling sliminess of Efron as Bundy, it won’t be a total waste. But it’s not much of a movie, either.”The filmmakers also did their best to avoid gruesome depictions of Bundy’s crimes, and made an effort to avoid making Bundy overly sympathetic (amid fears that they’d do just that). As Emily Tannebaum of Cosmopolitan said, “There were no graphic murders or sexualization of his crimes. Bundy was just as the title suggests: evil and vile. For that, Efron has a reason to be proud.”
In addition to Efron playing the role of the killer, the film also has Lily Collins (as Kloepfer), Haley Joel Osment, Jim Parsons, and John Malkovich. If you were neither in attendance at Sundance (most of you) nor have Netflix (few of you), but still have interest in seeing the movie, Netflix will reportedly give it an awards season theatrical run at some point in the fall.