Zac Efron to star as notorious serial rapist and killer Ted Bundy in drama Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
He's mostly been making big screen comedies such as Neighbors and Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates but now Zac Efron is heading for a 180 degree change.
The actor, who stars in the new Baywatch movie opening this coming weekend, has signed on to play notorious serial killer Ted Bundy.
The casting of clean cut former High School musical star, 29, was confirmed at the Cannes Film Festival on Monday, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
New role: Zac Efron, left, has signed on to star as infamous serial rapist and killer Ted Bundy, right, in an independent drama slated to start filming in the fall
The independent drama titled Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile tells Bundy's story from the perspective of his girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer.
She tried several times to alert police to his suspicious behavior during their relationship and continued to cooperate with law enforcement once he was arrested.
The movie, slated to begin principal photography in October, will be directed by Joe Berlinger who made the Oscar-nominated documentary Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, THR.com reported.
True story: The independent drama to be directed by Joe Berlinger will tell the story from the point of view of Bundy's girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer who had seven year relationship with him
Change of direction: Efron, 29, is known for his big screen comedies like the Neighbors films and Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates. He's pictured Saturday at the Baywatch premiere
It was only in the run-up to his execution in January 1989 that Bundy revealed the extent of his murderous actions claiming to have killed 30 women and young girls in several states between 1974 and 1978.
It's speculated the tally could be a lot higher as it's not known when exactly the Vermont native who moved to Washington state as a boy first started raping and killing.
Bundy was first arrested in Utah in 1975 and convicted the next year of kidnapping a woman. He was then extradited to Colorado to face murder charges in the death of a woman who disappeared from a ski resort in Aspen.
On June 6, 1977, he escaped from the Pitkin County Courthouse in Aspen through a second floor window and was free for six days before being recaptured.
On New Year's Eve that same year he managed to escape again from a Colorado jail and fled to Florida where he murdered two university students and a 12-year-old girl.
He ultimately died in Florida's electric chair for those crimes.
Killer: Bundy, who was executed in Florida in 1989, confessed to 30 murders but his actual tally may be much higher. He;s pictured following his arrest in that state in 1978
'HE SAID HIS NAME WAS TED': BUNDY'S TRAIL OF YOUNG FEMALE VICTIMS DURING MULTI-STATE KILLING SPREE
The name Ted Bundy is synonymous with serial killer after the shy and attractive psychology major embarked on a killing spree in the 1970s that left more than two dozen women dead. There is speculation he could be responsible for up to 100 murders.
In 1974, witnesses saw a young man, who introduced himself as Ted, approach two young women at Seattle State Park and ask for help with his sailboat. They were never seen alive again and became his first known victims.
It was in the same year that several young women disappeared from college campuses in Washington and Oregon - including a 21-year-old radio announcer called Lynda Ann Healy.
Later that year, Bundy relocated to Utah to attend law school in Salt Lake City. In November, Carol DaRonch was attacked by a man she described dressed as a police officer but escaped.
She gave the first clear description and a blood sample from her jacket. Miss DaRonch also told police that he was driving a tan VW Beetle. As Miss DaRonch was giving her statement, 17-year-old Debbie Kent disappeared.
A short time later, hikers found the bones of missing women in a Washington forest. A rough sketch was drawn - a tall, thin attractive man who approached young, white women looking for help and called himself 'Ted'.
Police also noted common factors among the victims - they were all thin and had long hair parted in the middle. All the women were targeted in the evening and bludgeoned with blunt objects. The victims had also been raped or sodomized.
At the beginning of January 1975, Caryn Campbell vanished from a Colorado ski resort. Her naked body was found a month later in a ditch by the side of the road. Five more women were founded murdered in a similar manner in the following months.
In August, police pulled Bundy over for a driving offense. When Miss DaRonch picked him out of a line-up, he was charged with attempted kidnapping.
He was sentenced in 1976 to 15 years in prison and later police connected him to the murder of Caryn Campbell.
On December 30, Bundy escaped from prison and turned up in Tallahassee, Florida renting an apartment near Florida State University under a false name.
On January 14, 1978, Bundy struck again. He broken into the Chi Omega sorority house and bludgeoned and strangled to death two women, raping one of them and viciously biting her body.
He almost murdered two others by beating them over the head with a log before a roommate interrupted his spree.
Almost a month later on February 9, Kimberly Leach, who was 12, was kidnapped and mutilated by Bundy. The serial killer was picked up a week later while driving a stolen car before witnesses placed him at both the sorority house and outside Kimberly's school.
Charged with three murders - killing the two sorority women and another Kimberly LaFouche - Bundy believed he could beat a guilty verdict and turned down a plea bargain of three life sentences. He went on trial in Florida on June 25, 1979, found guilty and sentenced to death.
Prior to his execution, Bundy gave the details of the murder sites of more than 50 women. He also said that he kept the heads of some women at his home to engage in necrophilia.
Bundy was electrocuted on January 24, 1989 at 7.13am.
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