The streamers came out in force at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Writing checks in the millions for some of the highest-profile indies to debut, Amazon, Apple, and Netflix spared no expense with trying to secure some content for their respective streaming services. And in the case of the latter company, considering it has a Ted Bundy thing going on right now, it makes perfect sense Netflix would snatch up Zac Efron’s serial killer biopic, “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile.”
THR is reporting that Netflix is set to write a $9 million check to pick up the Efron starrer, as the latest in a long line of massive Sundance pickups in 2019. However, while the purchase is far from shocking, there’s a bit towards the end of the report that has me scratching my head.
The report says, “Netflix will give the film an awards-season theatrical run for star Efron sometime in the fall.”
Now, I have yet to see the film, so I can’t offer my own opinion, but based on our review (not complimentary) and the Rotten Tomatoes score (currently at a 62%), it is shocking that Netflix feels it has a serious awards contender on its hands. However, much like Rami Malek’s performance in “Bohemian Rhapsody,” perhaps Efron’s acting in the film rises to a level the rest of the film can’t match. We shall see.
The second part of this decision to release the film in theaters later this fall is the fact that Ted Bundy is trending for the first time in a long time thanks in no small part to Efron’s film and the Netflix docu-series about the killer. And by the way, that docu-series is directed by the same person that directed ‘Extremely Wicked,’ Joe Berlinger. So, why would Netflix keep it on the shelf until the fall? If any film would benefit from the recent Bundy cultural rise, it would be this film. And who better to just drop a film in a moment’s notice than Netflix?
The math just doesn’t quite add up.
That being said, Netflix has made yet another major purchase and will no doubt promote the hell out of the film. So, I’m sure many people smarter than me have considered all I’ve said and realized that they know better.