Zac Efron's Controversial Ted Bundy Movie May Sell to Netflix for $9 Million: Report
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January
Zac Efron‘s take on serial killer Ted Bundy is likely heading to Netflix.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the streaming service is “closing in” on a deal to buy Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, a drama film that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and stars Efron, 31, as the notorious serial killer. A source told the outlet that the deal could be worth $9 million.
Though an official release date has not been announced, THR added that Netflix is looking at giving the film a theatrical release in the fall, in order to spur its Oscar chances.
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile follows Bundy’s life through the perspective of his girlfriend, Elizabeth Kloepfer, who struggled to accept the reality of her boyfriend’s horrific, true nature.
Lily Collins stars as Kloepfer alongside John Malkovich as Edward Cowart, the presiding judge at Bundy’s 1979 trial in Florida who sentenced the killer to death.
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile will fit in well on the streaming service, which recently released a four-part Ted Bundy docuseries from the same director, Joe Berlinger.
The docuseries, Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, features audio recordings from dozens of hours of death row interviews Bundy conducted with reporters Stephen Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth, which formed the basis of their 1989 book Ted Bundy: Conversations With a Killer.
The movie has already attracted criticism for its portrayal of the serial killer, which some say over-emphasizes Bundy’s charm and good looks.
But Kathy Kleiner Rubin — who was a 20-year-old sorority sister at Florida State University when Bundy crept into her bedroom at 3 a.m. and beat her and her roommate with a club — spoke to TMZ, saying she didn’t have “a problem with people looking at it, and as long as they understand that what they’re watching wasn’t a normal person.”
She continued: “I believe that in order to show him exactly the way he was, it’s not really glorifying him, but it’s showing him, and when they do say positive and wonderful things about him … that’s what they saw, that’s what Bundy wanted you to see.”
However, Belva Kent, the mother of one of his victims, Debra Jean Kent, who was murdered in 1974 at age 17, told PEOPLE about the Netflix docuseries: “Why keep rubbing our face in it all the time? It’s very hard to deal with and when they keep bringing it up and putting it up.”
In addition, Kent thinks that portrayals of Bundy should stress that what his victims suffered “can happen to anybody.”
“You just never know when you can be in that position,” she explained to PEOPLE. “You just want to let people know that it’s out there. … No one’s immune.”
Bundy was a law student who was convicted of killing and raping several women across seven states from at least 1974 to 1978.
He met girlfriend Kloepfer in 1969 in Washington where she worked as a secretary at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
Bundy was executed in Florida on Jan. 24, 1989 after confessing to 30 homicides committed, although the real total of murders is unknown.
• With reporting by ADAM CARLSON