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Netflix's New Ted Bundy Movie Is Finally Out: Here's Everything They Changed About His Shocking Life


Zac Efron, Lily Collins, Ted Bundy, Movie

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile...but totally accurate?

After the success of the docu-series Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, Netflix's highly anticipated new movie starring Zac Efron as the infamous serial killer Ted Bundy premiered on Friday, May 3, and it may not be the true crime-based movie audiences are expecting.

Though he would go on to confess to over 30 murders, with most experts agreeing his actual number of victims is far greater, Extremely Wicked chose to show just one of his murders play out on-screen, something a viewer may not have expected when they pressed play on a movie about the infamous serial killer.

That's because it's not really Ted's movie; it's Elizabeth Kloepfer's movie, his longtime girlfriend who dated him for six years, even after she gave his name to the police in 1974.

The movie is based on The Phantom Prince: My Life With Ted Bundy, the memoir Liz wrote under the pseudonym Liz Kendall in 1981, just after her former boyfriend had been found guilty and given the death sentence. And while it's fictionalized account, star Lily Collins and the film's director Jon Berlinger , who also helmed Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, actually met with the real Liz before filming began.

"I think Liz was basically checking us out to make sure we were deserving of trust for the first couple of hours," Berlinger told the Deseret News. "And as someone who had a loving relationship with Ted Bundy, you can imagine that trust for her is hard-won."

But they did earn her trust, with Liz even sharing personal photographs and letters the couple had written to each other with the filmmaker and the actress, who also spent time with Liz's daughter.



"And Lily holding those letters, written on these yellow legal pads—and Lily actually read them aloud—I think that was a very big moment for everybody," Berlinger said, "and crystalized …one of the controversial questions of the film: Is a psychopath capable of love? And why didn't he kill her?"

Zac Efron, Lily Collins, Ted Bundy, Extremely Wicked Shockingly Evil and Vile
For Efron, he was hesitant to take on the role before he read the script, worried it would "glorify" the killer.

"I liked the idea of bringing attention to the element of Ted Bundy that was so charismatic, and who was able to win over the world and yet be so evil and duplicitous," he told AP News.

The film examines that idea using real events and fictitious ones in its exploration. Here's everything Extremely Wicked got right and everything it changed about the Ted Bundy story:

The Beginning of Liz and Ted's Relationship: The movie mostly sticks to the couple's original meeting: the single mom was out at a bar in the University District of Seattle in September 1969 with a girlfriend. Recently divorced and new to town, Liz was looking for a new start and didn't know that many people in town.

In the film, it's Ted who first notices and approaches Liz, smoothly walking up to her at the jukebox. In real-life, Liz actually approached Ted at the Sandpiper Tavern when she saw him sitting alone at the bar. "You look like your best friend just died," she told him, as she thought he looked sad. 

"I've never forgotten this," Liz's friend Marylynne Chino (renamed Joanna in the film and played by Angela Sarafyan), who was with her that fateful night, told KUTV. "I walked in, and across the room, I saw Ted for the first time. I will never forget the look on his face, it wasn't evil but he was staring, nursing a beer."
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