Metallica front man James Hetfield tops off the coveted ensemble cast of the upcoming thriller EXTREMELY WICKED, SHOCKINGLY EVIL, AND VILE. The film follows the relationship between notorious serial killer Ted Bundy, played by Zac Efron, and his longtime girlfriend, played by Lily Collins, who at the time, had no knowledge of the crimes.
The Grammy and multi-Platinum and Gold Award winning artist will be playing Officer Bob Hayward, a no-nonsense Utah highway patrol veteran who was the first law enforcement officer to arrest Bundy in 1975 after pulling the killer over and discovering burglary tools in his car but wisely suspecting much worse. While Hetfield has played himself in other films and television productions, this will be his first dramatic role taking on a different character.
Academy-award nominee Joe Berlinger (Paradise Lost) will direct. Hetfield and Berlinger have crossed paths before when the latter directed and produced the seminal rock-doc Metallica: Some Kind of Monster along with the late Bruce Sinofsky. Berlinger also penned a book about his experiences with the band, Metallica: This Monster Lives .
“Having spent hundreds of hours behind the scenes with James and the rest of Metallica, I have experienced his charisma and powerful presence close up,” says director Joe Berlinger. “It seemed only natural that he would bring that same power and magnetism to a dramatic role, so when he agreed to my pitch that he be in the movie, I was thrilled.”
The original screenplay, written by Michael Werwie, won the Nicholl Fellowship first prize and was featured on the Black List.
Golden Globe and multiple Emmy Award winner Jim Parsons and Academy Award nominees Haley Joel Osment and John Malkovich have also recently joined the cast along with Kaya Scodelario, Angela Sarafyan, Jeffrey Donovan Terry Kinney, and Dylan Baker.
Efron most recently appeared in James Franco’s critically acclaimed comedy The Disaster Artist as well as The Greatest Showman, Baywatch, Neighbors, and Neighbors 2.
Collins recently starred in the critically acclaimed dramas To the Bone and Okja, the latter of which was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. Collins was also nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress (Comedy) for her starring role in Rules Don’t Apply. She is set to appear in the upcoming mini-series Les Miserables.
Ara Keshishian and Nicolas Chartier are producing for Voltage Pictures. Michael Costigan is producing for COTA Entertainment. Michael Simkin is producing for Efron’s Ninjas Runnin Wild Productions. Voltage is fully financing with Jonathan Deckter and Ninjas Runnin Wild’s Jason Barrett as executive producers.
The project was announced by Voltage Pictures at Cannes 2017. Production is already underway.