Zac Efron has been confirmed to play serial killer Ted Bundy in a new psychological thriller set for Cannes.
Titled Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, the movie will tell the story of one of the world’s most famous criminals, told from the perspective of his longtime girlfriend.
Bundy assaulted and murdered more than 30 women during the 1970s and was described as a handsome and charismatic man.
“Zac is perfect casting,” producer Michael Costigan told Deadline.
“He can play both the depth and the charm that this guy had in equal measures, and which allowed him to manipulate these women in such a terrifying way.”
The film, set to debut one year from now at the Cannes International Film Festival, will be helmed by Joe Berlinger, a documentary director responsible for the third sequel to HBO’s West Memphis Three documentary, Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory.
Far from the sort of director generally welcomed at the Croisette, Berlinger has also directed the unnecessary sequel to The Blair Witch Project and a documentary on hard rock band Metallica.
But having a former Disney channel rising star who has recently earned the critics’ sympathy to play a notorious serial killer will certainly work in his favour.
“I have been trying to work with Zac Efron for a long time,” said co-producer Nicolas Chartier.
“From his dramatic turn in Paperboy to his hilarious performance in Neighbours, he continues to impress audiences and critics alike with his extraordinary versatility and range.”
The script, which follows the ex-girlfriend’s story from denying the accusations to ultimately turning Bundy to the police, was featured in last year’s Hollywood Black List.
The Black List is an annual survey of the the best unproduced Hollywood scripts, from which movies like Spotlight and The Revenant have emerged.
Efron has spent most of his career starring in offbeat comedies and teen flicks, but has recently made an impression with grittier dramas like Paperboy and At Any Price.
He next stars opposite Dwayne Johnson in Paramount’s comedy Baywatch and the upcoming Hugh Jackman musical The Great Showman.