The casting of Zac Efron as Ted Bundy in the upcoming Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile has been the topic of debate in recent days. What’s the tea? Well, many are appaled that director Joe Berlinger would even consider casting someone as sexy and delicious looking like Zac Efron to play the role of the notorious serial killer, saying that it ‘glorifies’ Ted Bundy.
One person tweeted: “I’m sorry. You can’t create a rock music infused trailer for a non-documentary starring a ripped ass Zac Efron kissing on females then turn around n say ‘we’re not glorifying’ a serial killer. those are, like, all the glory elements right there.”
While another said: “The fact that Ted Bundy wanted to be seen as some sort of celebrity ladies man wtf ur literally romanticising a rapist paedophile murderer when u cast Zac Efron to play him or keep talking abt how ‘hot’ he was.”
But here’s why the criticism doesn’t make sense. Ted Bundy was known for his good looks and ample charisma. His victims often fell for his charm. One viewing of Netflix’s Ted Bundy documentary will tell you as much and more. Back in the day, people considered Ted Bundy handsome. That’s just fact.
So the casting of Hollywood heartthrob / High School Musical alumni Zac Efron makes all the sense in the world, at least to this writer. To cast an obese hillbilly with unshaved armpit hair would be a dishonest portrayal of the vile serial killer. Serial killers can look sexy too. They can look like your boyfriend/girlfriend, your neighbour or a high school prom king.
And it seems like one of Ted Bundy’s actual victims seem to think along the same lines too. In a sit down with TMZ, Kathy Kleiner Rubin, who was attacked by Bundy at Florida State University’s Chi Omega house in 1978 shared her thoughts on the controversy.
“I don’t have a problem with people looking at it, and as long as they understand that what they’re watching wasn’t a normal person. I believe that in order to show him exactly the way he was, it’s not really glorifying him, but it’s showing him, and when they do say positive and wonderful things about him… that’s what they saw, that’s what Bundy wanted you to see.”
The Zac Efron starring Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile premiered at Sundance on January 26 to mix to positive reviews. It has yet to receive a Malaysian release date.