If you've been online at all in the past week, you know that Ted Bundy is having a moment. Between the Netflix docuseries and the teaser trailer for the biopic Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile, everyone is talking about the convicted serial killer. Some people, however, are under the impression that the upcoming film is glamorizing Bundy, particularly because heartthrob Zac Efron is portraying him.
But Joe Berlinger, who directed both Netflix's docuseries The Ted Bundy Tapes and Extremely Wicked, is not here for all the critics. He recently defended himself to the fans who say his biopic is guilty of glorifying the serial killer's horrific crimes.
ICYMI: The trailer for the Ted Bundy biopic Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile dropped last week.
It stars Zac Efron, Lily Collins, Angela Sarafyan, James Hetfield, Kaya Scodelario, Haley Joel Osment, John Malkovich, and Jim Parsons.
According to the film's director, Joe Berliner, though, the backlash is "very naive" and just a "knee-jerk reaction."
"I think the idea of this particular story, making a movie about Bundy, equals glorification of him is a very naive and knee-jerk reaction," Berlinger told Bustle in the lobby of a Utah hotel.
Extremely Wicked is based on a memoir written by Bundy's ex-girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer, titled The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy. The audience will see Bundy through her eyes, which Berlinger believes is a very important side of the story to tell.
"The fact that somebody like Ted Bundy got away for so long, eluded capture for so long, because he was charming and manipulative and people around him thought he was not capable of these crimes, that’s a lesson you can’t learn enough and a very valid lesson to put out into the world," Berlinger explained.