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Zac Efron Disappointingly Cast as Ted Bundy in ‘Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile’

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The serial killer fandom is growing online, both on Twitter and Tumblr,  the members of the groups spending their time romanticizing the murderers, and trying to erase their crimes. It seems unwise to cast a “heart throb” actor, like Zac Efron, to play Ted Bundy.

However, that is exactly what the casting is for the new biopic about Ted Bundy, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. The movie focuses on Ted Bundy’s girlfriend, telling the story about her relationship with Ted Bundy, played by Zac Efron.

The movie is going to be directed by Joe Berlinger, the same director of the Paradise Lost documentaries.  Shooting for the drama is set to begin this fall.

It seems in poor taste to cast someone as conventionally attractive and adored by teenagers to play a serial killer, and not expect people to romanticize them, completely missing the point of the story. Romanticizing murders, and having specific fandoms toward people that murder, is sick. Recently, attention has been drawn to the ‘Columbine’ fandom, which just focuses its time to talking about how cute and ‘misunderstood’ the perpetrators of the Columbine shooting were.

While Ted Bundy is already a rather romanticized figure in the serial killer community, given the fact that people called him “charismatic” and “charming”, it seems like a leap to take someone from High School Musical and Baywatch, specifically geared to attract the attention of teens and young adults, and then cast them as a “charming” real life serial killer. It seems to distract from how horrific the crimes are, and instead turns the movie into “sad, misunderstood eye candy”.

It’s a further example of glossing over the horrendous crimes perpetuated by white male serial killers, then turning them into pop culture icons, and erases the atrocities they caused. It’s an example of white privilege to make a serial killer a heart throb after they were executed in 1989 after confessing to the rape and murder of over thirty people.

It’s sick and twisted when instead of using the drama as a chance to tell the story about horrific murders, it’s going to be derailed with talks about how sexy this portrayal of Ted Bundy is, which is exactly the kind of stuff that leads to serial killers becoming pop culture icons, when they absolutely should not be revered by anyone.

Overall, the casting is disappointing. It’s just bait for serial killer worshipers to have more to romanticize, and it’s obviously meant to draw in a youth audience on the back of Zac Efron’s teen movie credits.

What do you think?

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Written by Bristol Morgan

Bristol is a 20 year old Canadian. She's a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, and happily pansexual. She's a passionate social activist, bath bomb lover, and hot chocolate drinker. Some of her specific areas of interest include, LGBT+ issues, racism, and sex-ed.

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  1. Poorly structured article.. what’s the point of using Zack Efron as the target here? And for what, bring attractive? If anything it sounds like the author Is disappointed in the culture surrounding the reality of people who romanticize real life murderers. So why attack an actor doing his job? Actors are not supposed to always play “cute” roles that satisfy your perceptions of who you think they are in real life. The intention of the article isn’t awful per se but the argument makes little to no sense.

  2. Here’s the thing though: Ted Bundy was conventionally attractive. He was smart and well-liked and attractive, which is why no one ever thought he could do what he did. That’s what makes it so terrifying. I think it would be a disservice to portray him as ugly or monstrous-it’s important to remember that ordinary people are capable of terrible things. I personally don’t believe this is romanticizing murder- it’s portraying Bundy accurately.

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