After rising to fame as Troy Bolton in the early noughties, Zac Efron became one of Hollywood’s best-loved stars. The 30-year-old is now set to play one of America’s most notorious serial killers, Ted Bundy, in the upcoming movie Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile.
Yesterday, the actor has released the first photograph of himself transformed into Bundy. Ted Bundy gained worldwide notoriety after it emerged that he had killed at least 30 women over an estimated four-year period in the 70s. People have been fascinated by Bundy because of his wholesome appearance and intellect, which set him apart from his peers at college, although he was said to be socially awkward. After having his heart broken, he began a shocking killing spree. The woman who broke Bundy’s heart was called Stephanie Brooks. She ended their relationship because of his immaturity and lack of ambition in 1968. After this, he became a changed man, obtaining a degree and confidence, and began to date another woman called Elizabeth Kloepfer from 1969 onwards. However, in 1973, he rekindled his relationship with Brooks, dating her and Klopfer at the same time. After the two got engaged, he broke it off as vengeance for her rejection in 1968 because he wanted to prove to himself that he “could have married her”. Then, in 1974, while dating Klopfer, Bundy began raping and murdering women who looked like Brooks – although he is believed to have killed before this. The movie Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile is an account of his horrific crimes told from Klopfer’s perspective. She refused to believe that he was a monster until his crimes made the news and ended up handing him over to the authorities. In an interview with Buzzfeed, Efron said of the role, “Ted Bundy is going to be a challenge. I think it’s going to be different and it’s going to be fun. I’m super stoked.” Efron was reportedly chosen for the role because of his boyish good looks, something which enabled Bundy to sweet talk many of his victims into his company before he brutally raped and murdered them. The 30-year-old posted a picture of himself as Bundy on Twitter captioned, “Meet Ted #BehindTheScenes”. Efron is joined by 28-year-old actress Lily Collins, who has previously starred in Love, Rosie (2014) and Mirror Mirror (2012). She also unveiled what she looks like as Elizabeth Kloepfer on social media with a similar caption to Efron’s. In addition to this, Collins shared a picture of a wooden door with a handwritten sign that read, “Ted + Liz”. The movie also stars 64-year-old John Malkovich. He plays Judge Edward Cowart, who presided over Bundy’s trial and ultimately issued him with the death penalty. Prior to Bundy’s 1978 conviction, he was arrested in 1975, however, he managed to escape from jail. At the time, his murderous secret was not known, but he had been charged with aggravated kidnap and attempted criminal assault. While on the run from the authorities, he committed further assaults and at least three more murders. Pictured below is Bundy’s girlfriend Stephanie Brooks. When Bundy was captured again in 1978, the true extent of his crimes finally came to light. It was only after his conviction that he began to open up about exactly what he had done. “He said that after a while, murder is not just a crime of lust or violence. It becomes possession,” Special Agent William Hagmaier of the FBI said. “They are part of you … [the victim] becomes a part of you, and you [two] are forever one … and the grounds where you kill them or leave them become sacred to you, and you will always be drawn back to them.” The serial killed famously died with a smile on his face. Bundy was eventually executed in 1989 at the age of 42. Filming starts today for Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, although its release date is yet to be announced.