Zac Efron couldn’t be more likable and charming as serial killer Ted Bundy in the first trailer for Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile — and that’s kind of the point. However, fans don’t know what to think after the Bundy biopic’s first trailer dropped on Friday.
The trailer kicks off with the kind of upbeat tempo and banter you’d expect from an action movie where you kind of want to root for the bad guy. Only in this case, the bad guy is real and did some actual “extremely wicked, shockingly evil and vile” things that some viewers point out we shouldn’t be applauding at all.
Like the trailer suggests, Bundy was one of the nation’s most notorious serial killers. He was executed in Florida in 1989 after being convicted of killing and raping several women in the ‘70s, but before his execution, he confessed to 30 homicides, which he’d previously denied for over a decade.
“This looks way too… fun… for a movie about a serial killer,” one user commented on YouTube, while another wrote, “Looks like a weird action comedy about a guy who brutally murdered over 30 people. Good job.”
Some praised the movie’s trailer, defending it as an accurate representation of what Bundy was — charismatic and alluring — though one commenter, in particular, seemed to capture how most were feeling.
“Love Zac Efron and he looks like he’s doing a good job here but I almost feel like they’re trying to make this film something fun and making Ted Bundy seem misunderstood. He murdered dozens of innocent young women. That shouldn’t be glorified or made light of,” the commenter wrote. “I know this is the first trailer but the music and the way it was cut makes the movie seem like we’re gonna watch a nice guy named Ted who just, whoops, kills people, be a misunderstood good guy who loves his family.”
Watch the trailer below:
Efron, however, insisted during an interview with ET last March that Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile “doesn’t really glorify” the serial killer.
“It’s very interesting. I think the movie itself is really deep,” he said. “He wasn’t a person to be glorified. It simply tells a story and sort of how the world was able to be charmed over by this guy who was notoriously evil and the vexing position that so many people were put in, the world was put in. It was fun to go and experiment in that realm of reality.”
See more in the video below.