Zac Efron has been handsome, charismatic, and eminently likable ever since he shot to fame with Disney Channel’s High School Musical. Now, add terrifying to the list. In Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, Efron plays notorious serial killer Ted Bundy, who killed at least 30 people between 1974 and 1978. In the film’s first trailer, Efron has his signature charm cranked up to 11 — which makes it all the more unsettling when the video cuts to scenes of Bundy’s gruesome murders.
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile tells the Bundy story from the point of view of Elizabeth Kloepfer, Bundy’s long-time girlfriend, and is played by Lily Collins in the film. In the trailer, Kloepfer struggles to reconcile the seemingly well-meaning family man that she knows with the cold-blooded killer portrayed by the media. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile will cover Bundy’s life from 1969, when he met Kloepfer, up through at least his first trial in 1975.
John Malkovich also appears in the trailer as the judge overseeing Bundy’s trial. The rest of the cast includes The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons, Westworld‘s Angela Sarafyan, former Burn Notice spook Jeffrey Donovan, Haley Joel Osment, Dylan Baker, and Metallica lead singer James Hetfield.
Joe Berlinger, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile‘s director, clearly has Bundy on the brain. In addition to the new trailer, Berlinger’s four-part documentary series Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, arrived to Netflix on January 24, telling Bundy’s story through a collection of old interviews and other archival footage.
Bundy was executed in 1989 after confessing to 30 homicides across seven different states, although evidence indicates that his actual body count might be higher. In addition to the murders, Bundy escaped prison twice. His 1979 trial was the first broadcast on national television and became a massive media event.
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile will premiere on Saturday, January 26, at the Sundance Film Festival, but hasn’t been picked up for a wider release quite yet. That may change soon. Bundy’s story is fascinating and if you’re a fan of great true crime podcasts or TV’s most fascinating serial killers, you won’t want to miss this one.