There is growing backlash over the new movie about notorious serial killer Ted Bundy, starring heartthrob Zac Efron.
“We look kind of similar and we have some of the same mannerisms,” Efron said at the Sundance Film Festival premiere of “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile."
On social media, the casting of Efron has led to accusations that the movie is "romanticizing a vicious criminal by making him seem more attractive,” as one tweet put it.
"With Zac Efron playing Ted Bundy I truly hope people don't start to glorify him,” said another person on social media.
Joe Berlinger, director of "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil And Vile," points out that many women really did find Bundy irresistible.
“We thought Zac would be perfect casting,” he told Inside Edition. “Bundy was so charming that women were attracted to him. Even at his Miami trial women were showing up believing in him still.”
It's not the first time a handsome star has played Bundy, who confessed to killing 30 women in the 1970s. Actor Mark Harmon played Bundy in the 1986 hit TV movie “The Deliberate Stranger.”
Rhonda Stapley, who claims Bundy strangled and then revived her five times in a remote canyon in Utah before she escaped, spoke to Inside Edition about Efron playing the serial killer.
She said she doesn't have a problem with him playing the serial killer, and even though the actor is a known sex symbol, Stapley says "that is what Ted Bundy kind of was" too.
"I think they have done a really nice job in casting him," she added of Efron playing the role.