Joe Berlinger, the Oscar-nominated director whose upcoming film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, about the life of Ted Bundy, says moviegoers can be assured the movie won't romanticize the notorious serial killer.
After the trailer for the film, which stars Zac Efron as Bundy, appeared online Sunday, a lot of people were concerned about the way the trailer depicted the main subject, which some felt portrayed the murderer in a sanitized way.
"I am of course very troubled that the trailer may be giving some people the false impression that our movie in any way romanticizes the actions of this horrendous serial killer, so I want to assure those concerned that our film in no way glorifies Bundy or his atrocious acts, nor was the trailer intended to give that impression," Berlinger told BuzzFeed News in a statement on Wednesday.
The film, he added, "is a serious portrait of how Bundy deceived the people closest to him and his manipulation of the American media allowed him to flourish and evade detection and capture for so long."
The director's statement comes after the release of Netflix's Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, a docuseries project he worked on for the streaming service.
Within days of the show being available online, people began tweeting about Bundy's so-called hotness, despite the fact that he was a rapist, murderer, and necrophile.
In 1978, Bundy received three death sentences for murders he committed in Florida. He later confessed to killing 30 people, although experts believe that number could be higher.
Bundy was eventually executed in the electric chair on Jan. 24, 1989.
"Bundy challenges all of our beliefs of what a serial killer should look like because he used his good looks and intelligence to hide his double life for far too long, and that is the focus of the film," Berlinger said.
The director ended his message be saying that "glorifying an obviously guilty and sick individual whose aftermath has meant tragedy for so many would be repugnant to me."