Is the new Ted Bundy film over romanticizing?

Sophia Goodwin, Staff Writer

Everyone is talking about Ted Bundy. The infamous serial killer, known for murdering over 30 women in the early 1970s, is taking over headlines once again.   

On Jan. 25, a trailer was released for “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile,” a biopic from the perspective of Bundy’s girlfriend, Elizabeth Kloepfer, during the murders. The film stars “High School Musical” heartthrob Zac Efron, and “Love, Rosie” star Lily Collins. Despite its star-studded cast, the movie is sparking controversy across social media platforms.  

The dispute began when several tweets went viral on Twitter, stating how Efron had “romanticized” Bundy and made people fall in love with the psychopathic serial killer. What people are not focusing on is that this was how Bundy behaved. His good looks and deceiving charm were what lured women towards him; that was his trademark. It is well-known that Bundy managed to be the center of attention and enjoyed the limelight ohis name. He believed that he was capable of receiving the attention of most women.  

Efron himself is also receiving backlash due to his appearance. Many people took to social media to say that they felt as though he was the wrong person to portray Bundy because of his good looks. From the trailer, viewers watch as Efron displays Bundy’s attractive, devious, and charming characteristics. At one point, Bundy (Efron) is seen winking to the camera, which also sparked controversy, causing some critics to state that they find it unnecessary and extremely disturbing. 

Critics are also stating that the movie fails to capture the historical essence, focusing more so on the Hollywood aspect. In a recent interview with TMZ, Kathy Kleiner Rubin, a Bundy survivor, stated her approval of the movie, stating, “I don’t have a problem with people looking at it as long as they understand that what they’re watching wasn’t a normal person.” Kimberly Leach, a friend of Bundy’s last victim feels differently. When being interviewed by First Coast News ABC, she stated how she was disheartened that Hollywood wanted to profit from a movie about Ted Bundy, saying, “the fact that they’re making this new movie outrages me, especially because they’re using Zac Efron who [is] so cute [and] so attractive.”  

The movie is to be released on Netflix and in select theaters May 3.