A new biopic about one of Tacoma’s notorious serial killers is being made, and Hollywood heartthrob Zac Efron has signed on to play Ted Bundy.
The movie, “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile,” will focus on the dysfunctional relationship Bundy had with former girlfriend Elizabeth Kendall.
The couple dated for seven years, during which time she reported her suspicions that he was a killer to police. Kendall published a book in 1988 called, “The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy.”
Bundy, 42, was executed in Florida in 1989 for killing two sorority sisters and a 12-year-old girl. Detectives linked him to at least 30 murders that started in Washington in 1974, but investigators believe there were dozens more.
Joe Berlinger, best known for the “Paradise Lost” series of documentaries, will direct. Voltage Pictures and Cota Films is producing the movie, which will start shooting Oct. 9.
“I have been trying to work with Zac Efron for a long time,” Nicolas Chartier, a Voltage producer, told Variety Magazine. “From his dramatic turn in ‘Paperboy’ to his hilarious performance in ‘Neighbors,’ he continues to impress audiences and critics alike with his extraordinary versatility and range. We couldn’t be more excited to see him in this amazing role.”
Efron stars with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in “Baywatch,” which opens this month.
Plans for the Bundy biopic were unveiled at the Cannes Film Festival in 2014.
When filmmaker Ziad Doueiri announced the flick back then, he said, “It’s not going to be like ‘When Harry Meets Sally’ but will be a very compelling love story.”
Kendall reportedly reported Bundy to police three times during their relationship. One time was after detectives released a composite sketch of the killer that strongly resembled Bundy.
They had an on-again, off-again relationship but remained in touch even after Bundy was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping a woman.
“Ted went out a lot in the middle of the night. And I didn’t know where he went. Then he napped during the day. And I found things, things I couldn’t understand,” Kendall wrote in her book.
Bundy grew up in Tacoma and attended the University of Puget Sound before transferring to the University of Washington. His mother, Louise Bundy, lived in Tacoma until she died in 2013.
One of Bundy’s childhood homes in Tacoma was recently renovated and sold. Contractors said spooky things happened as they worked inside the home.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653