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This Trailer For The Movie On Serial Killer Ted Bundy Has Raised A Lot Of Eyebrows

"I feel so bad for the families of the victims that have to sit there and see their terrors revived as a witty romantic thriller."

Posted on January 27, 2019, at 12:10 p.m. ET

The first trailer for the upcoming film on American serial killer Ted Bundy has set off a fierce debate, with people worried that the film glorifies his deadly legacy and could hurt those impacted by his crimes.

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this weekend, and stars Zac Efron as the charismatic killer. Authorities believe Bundy murdered 30 women or more before he was executed at Florida State Prison in 1989.

Speaking about his performance, Efron told Variety that he initially had reservations about taking the role.

โ€œIโ€™ve seen people make horror films like this before, and it seems like an aggressive play to separate yourself from a perceived image. And itโ€™s got a lot of killing and hacking and slashing. I think Iโ€™ve seen that before too many times,โ€ he said.

The 31-year-old stars opposite Lily Collins, who plays Elizabeth Kloepfer, Bundy's ex-girlfriend. The film tells Bundy's story from Kloepfer's perspective.

The film is directed by Academy Award nominee Joe Berlinger, who also directed the four-part Netflix documentary Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes.

Joe Berlinger, Zac Efron, and Lily Collins.
Rich Polk / Getty Images

Joe Berlinger, Zac Efron, and Lily Collins.

The release of both projects coincides with the 30th anniversary of Bundy's execution.

On this date January 24 in 1989, Ted Bundy was executed by the electric chair at the Florida State Prison. Photo by Donn Dughi.

After the trailer dropped on Friday, people said they were concerned for the families of victims, and criticized the overall tone.

I feel so bad for the families of the victims that have to sit there and see their terrors revived as a witty romantic thriller https://t.co/uP4y03XSBU

This is literally just going to give the tcc more fetish material fucking hell this is gross https://t.co/aCVR6YsVDJ

That music choice was awful. It should be creepy. People should feel disgusted watching this trailer. You already ruined people's first impressions on the movie... ๐Ÿ˜ https://t.co/NNDTkAfcC2

why did they market this like it's a super hero movie and not a movie about someone who kills humans for fun. https://t.co/Wb2sfU5WJb

Some people have accused the film for romanticizing Bundy.

i mean it looks good but why the music? this film is portraying a literal serial killer that existed and did horrible things in real life at least make it seem that way instead of romanticizing a monster. https://t.co/uGKbl67eC1

This looks terrible. I can't believe Lily Collins really put her name on this. https://t.co/7unjOU6XDu

The music makes me feel ill. How you gonna play fucking action music with a film about ted bundy who raped and killed "over 30, perhaps as many as over 100" women. Barely touches on it in the trailer lol. Way to go https://t.co/we8aH2HOe0

Others defended the trailer by arguing that it was created in particular way to make a point.

I dont understand tweets that claim that Bundy is being "romanticized" when the point of it is to retell how he was known to be charming. isnt it more eye opening to show that killers can literally be ANYONE n depicting him as the opposite of likeable just wouldnt be as impactful https://t.co/w0PXtu2xSA

Yall fr getting mad because they're showing what he was like instead of maybe thinking that not all serial killers look like monsters and they actually could be the cute neighbor? None's gonna think of him as daddy while watching him drag a corpse, use your head https://t.co/C0PzS0nNh4

I feel that casting a teenage hearthrob as a serial killer was to really show that even the most charismatic normal ones can be sadistic,,,that being said the music for this trailer was a horrible choice, although one can't just assume jovial will be the tone of the film. https://t.co/3K8NddkECo

The film's director, Berlinger, appeared to weigh in on the debate on Twitter by cosigning another tweet that suggested people were "missing the point." To which he responded: "Exactly!"

As the cast wrapped filming in March last year, Efron told IndieWire that the film did not glorify Bundy.

โ€œItโ€™s very interesting. I think the movie itself is really deep,โ€ Efron said. โ€œIt doesnโ€™t really glorify Ted Bundy. He wasnโ€™t a person to be glorified. It simply tells a story and sort of how the world was able to be charmed over by this guy who was notoriously evil and the vexing position that so many people were put in, the world was put in. It was fun to go and experiment in that realm of reality.โ€

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile has no confirmed release date and is currently seeking US distribution.

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