Just How Precise Is Zac Efron’s Take on Ted Bundy? – Bigflix

Zac Efron portraying the infamous serial killer Ted Bundy in “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile” may initially strike “High School Musical” fans as implausible. However, director Joe Berlinger, known for the Netflix documentary series “Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes,” asserts that Efron was his sole and preferred choice for the role.

Bundy, convicted of murdering over 30 young women before his 1989 execution, is depicted authentically in the film, which is based on Elizabeth Kloepfer’s book “The Phantom Prince: My Life With Ted Bundy,” his former girlfriend.

“Extremely Wicked” faithfully adheres to the true narrative, according to the director. The conclusion of the movie, set in 1979 on Death Row, introduces a creative liberty where Elizabeth confronts Bundy with a photo of a decapitated victim. The interaction, while intense in the film, differs significantly from the book, where Bundy vaguely confesses to Elizabeth in a phone conversation.

Despite these liberties, the film is notably accurate, with Efron effectively embodying Bundy’s charisma and charm. Efron’s portrayal captures how a monstrous figure can manipulate and beguile both victims and legal authorities. “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile” marks Efron’s departure from his Disney roots into more serious roles, showcasing his skills.

Efron and director Berlinger collaborate successfully to maintain a balance, strategically revealing Bundy’s monstrous side sparingly, with the film refraining from explicitly depicting his murders. This approach instills an unsettling feeling throughout, highlighting the genuine danger Bundy posed. The movie is currently available for streaming on Netflix in the U.S.

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