Though he's now almost 40 years old, Chad Michael Murray is best known as a teen star whose dirty blonde hair and smoldering blue eyes won the hearts and lined the lockers of kids who grew up watching him on Gilmore Girls and One Tree Hill. But now, Murray is using his charm and good looks to take on a very different role. In the first trailer for Ted Bundy: American Boogeyman, Murray slips into the persona of one of America's most infamous serial killers. To see Murray's transformation that will make your skin crawl, read on.
Chad Michael Murray transformed into Ted Bundy for an upcoming movie.
Murray is stepping into a new kind of movie genre: true crime. The 39-year-old actor is portraying Ted Bundy, the notorious serial killer from the 1970s. Entertainment Tonight revealed the new trailer for the movie on Monday, Aug. 2, giving us the first look at Murray in the role.
According to Screen Daily, Ted Bundy: American Boogeyman, which was announced in April, will follow "the manhunt that brought [Bundy] to justice" and "the detective and the FBI rookie who coined the phrase 'serial killer.'"
Though he may be biased, Jonathan Deckter, president and COO of Voltage Pictures, which is distributing the movie, told Screen Daily that Murray "expertly captures" the traits Bundy "exploited to win the trust of his victims as well as society."
Murray previously gave fans a sneak peek at him in character.
In the summer of 2020, Murray shared some sneak peeks of himself in character on his Instagram. In one photo, you could barely make out his face as Bundy, but he sat atop one of the serial killer's notorious Volkswagen Beetles. "Just taking it all in," he wrote in one caption in August. "Some nights are crazier than others. This was one of those crazy nights."
A month later, he shared a closer look of himself with Bundy's infamous handlebar mustache in the film, which does not yet have an official release date.
He is one of many big names to play Bundy in their career.
Ted Bundy: American Boogeyman is far from the first movie or TV adaptation of the serial killer's life, even within the past few years. In 2019, Zac Efron took on the role in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. Cary Elwes starred in the 2004 TV movie The Riverman about Bundy, and Mark Harmon stepped into his shoes in the 1986 TV miniseries The Deliberate Stranger, and there's still more to come. Luke Kirby is set to star as Bundy in the 2021 movie No Man of God.
Additionally, Netflix released a docuseries titled Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes in 2019 and Amazon released Ted Bundy: Falling for a Killer, chronicling Bundy's relationship with his longtime girlfriend Elizabeth Kendall.
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Many people find Hollywood and the public's obsession with Ted Bundy controversial.
While many people can't get enough true crime movies and TV shows, a portion of the public is dismayed by the constant retelling of the murderer's story. The fascination with Bundy picked up steam following the release of the two docuseries from Netflix and Amazon, and some audience members were upset by the glorification of the serial killer, especially the way people continually refer to his looks.
In Jan. 2019, Netflix seemingly responded to the controversy tweeting, "I've seen a lot of talk about Ted Bundy's alleged hotness and would like to gently remind everyone that there are literally THOUSANDS of hot men on the service—almost all of whom are not convicted serial murderers."
Murray's new movie has faced its fair share of backlash too. "He was a vile monster who gruesomely ended the lives of probably more than 30 young women," one Twitter user wrote. "Please stop making this true-crime consumer-p*** trash."