When Is Netflix's Ted Bundy Movie Coming Out? It's a Controversial Film

After this year's Sundance, Netflix bought the rights to the Ted Bundy biopic Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, reportedly for a whopping $9 million as reported by Deadline. Great news, right? So when can we watch it? 

After this year's Sundance Film Festival, Netflix bought the rights to the Ted Bundy biopic  (opens in new tab)Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (opens in new tab), reportedly for a whopping $9 million as reported by Deadline. Great news, right? So when can we watch it?

First, some context. We first got a look at Zac-as-Ted (opens in new tab) in January 2018, when Zac posted a photo, captioning it, "Meet Ted." And it was insanely creepy. The trailer that came out earlier this year was also deeply unsettling, with the former heartthrob channeling the remorseless sociopath with absolutely meticulous precision.

Update, 4/1Netflix gave us the release date! And it's even sooner than we thought! This is great news, in my opinion. On May 3, subscribers will be able to watch the film, although it's not entirely clear whether there will still be a theatrical run, as predicted by Jeff Sneider and Screen Rant. Who knows—we might still see the film in theaters in the fall? We'll update the page as we know more.

So far, the film has earned a 60 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the "critics' consensus" determining: "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile often transcends its narrative limitations through sheer force of Zac Efron's compulsively watchable performance."

Original post: Some who saw the film at Sundance deemed it controversial—saying that covering Bundy at all was in effect glorifying him, even if the portrait was unflattering—but it apparently gives an honest look at what Bundy did and a look at the charisma that helped him get away with it (opens in new tab) for so long.

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It's unclear whether Netflix is trying to distance itself from its own Ted Bundy documentary, Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes (which is very good, if you're interested in the subject). For whatever reason, Netflix hadn't officially set a release date yet (as of 3/29/19), although rumor is it'll get a theatrical run at some point. So in essence, we don't totally know yet.

However, entertainment reporter Jeff Sneider, who called that Netflix would acquire the rights to Extremely Wicked in the first place, tweeted that the film would come out in the fall timed for award season. Fall could, of course, mean anything from late September through December, but a lot of awards season films come out in November or December. So it's a bit of time to wait, but that's the best way to build anticipation, right? 

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Screen Rant (opens in new tab) is backing up that timeline as well, so in absence of an official announcement, "fall 2019" sounds like a good prediction.

Also, Netflix also released a new trailer, and it looks TERRIFYING. Even if the film got mixed reviews (opens in new tab), Zac is clearly working very hard to obtain the right balance of charismatic, menacing, and threatening to his performance. The film also paints Lily Allen's Liz Kendall as another victim of the sociopath's impressive charm and manipulation.

Zac shared the release date to fans, saying, "Can’t wait for you guys to see this." And Lily Collins responded in the comments immediately, saying, "Here we go!!!"

A post shared by Zac Efron (@zacefron) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

Lily followed suit by posting the trailer and a poster, which looks like it might be new (as well as so so so creepy):

A post shared by Lily Collins (@lilyjcollins) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

So both actors are clearly proud of their performances and the finished product.

I'm definitely interested in watching, if only for the fact that I've found Zac's choices to be intriguing and smart over the years, and he looks...EXACTLY like Ted Bundy.

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Seriously, it's uncanny. It's no surprise he dyed his hair BLEACH blond for the Sundance premiere.

Director Joe Berlinger, and actors Lily Collins and Zac

(Image credit: Pacific Press)

Probably a good idea to distance yourself from the character a bit. Good call, Zac!

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Katherine J. Igoe
Katherine J. Igoe

Katherine’s a Boston-based contributor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle—from “Clueless” to Everlane to news about Lizzo. She’s been a freelancer for 11 years and has had roles with Cosmopolitan and Bustle, with bylines in Parents, Seventeen, and elsewhere. It’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.