Why Chad Michael Murray Is the Perfect Person to Play Wickedly Charming Ted Bundy

Step aside, Zac Efron! Beloved One Tree Hill alum Chad Michael Murray is next to take on the role of real-life serial killer Ted Bundy in American Boogeyman.

By Samantha Bergeson May 26, 2021 10:45 PMTags
Watch: Chad Michael Murray's PSA for High School Heartthrobs

Chad Michael Murray may be a dream man, but now he's taking on the stuff of nightmares. 

After shedding his One Tree Hill heartthrob persona to play a cult leader in RiverdaleMurray is set to portray real-life serial killer Ted Bundy in Ted Bundy: American Boogeyman. His rep confirmed the casting exclusively to E! News. Per Screen Dailythe film "follows the elusive and charming killer and the manhunt that brought him to justice involving the detective and the FBI rookie who coined the phrase 'serial killer.'" 

Director Daniel Farrands, who helmed The Haunting Of Sharon Tate starring Hilary Duff, also wrote Boogeyman. (For those keeping track, Duff and Murray previously co-starred in Cinderella Story before taking a turn for darker material with Farrands.)

American Boogeyman also stars Holland Roden as detective Kathleen McChesney, Jake Hays as FBI agent Robert Ressler and Lin Shaye from the Insidious series as Mrs. Bundy. The film will be released theatrically on August 16 with Voltage Pictures.

The Real-Life Serial Killers in Mindhunter

"Ted Bundy is such a fascinated-ly divisive character and is the true personification of evil," Voltage Pictures president and COO Jonathan Deckter said. "Murray is so talented and expertly captures Bundy's charm and seductive nature, traits that the notorious killer exploited to win the trust of his victims as well as society." 

Boogeyman has a companion "Monster Prequel" film, American Boogeyman, that is centered on Florida serial killer Aileen Wuornos, played by Peyton List, and also directed by Farrands.

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Prior to Murray, Zac Efron most recently portrayed Bundy in Netflix's 2019 film, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. And that's not the only true crime serial killer movie in the works: Evan Peters will transform into Jeffrey Dahmer for Ryan Murphy's upcoming Netflix series, Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Storywhile Joshua Jackson hauntingly embodies bloodthirsty neurosurgeon Dr. Christopher Duntsch in the highly-anticipated Peacock series Dr. Death

Can't keep track of which A-listers are portraying real-life murderers? Keep scrolling to see all the stars who have played serial killers.

Zac Efron as Ted Bundy

Zac Efron portrayed prolific serial killer Ted Bundy in the 2019 film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. Just before his execution, which took place in 1989, Bundy confessed to 30 homicides in the '70s.


Jeremy Renner as Jeffrey Dahmer

2002's Dahmer featured Jeremy Renner as serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who is known for killing and dismembering almost 20 men and boys between 1978 and 1991.

Chad Michael Murray as Ted Bundy

Chad Michael Murray also stepped into Bundy's murderous shoes for the 2021 film Ted Bundy: American Boogeyman.

Joshua Jackson as Dr. Christopher Duntsch

Joshua Jackson embodied Texan neurosurgeon Dr. Christopher Duntsch in 2021 Peacock series Dr. Death, inspired by the podcast of the same name.

Ross Lynch as Jeffrey Dahmer

Another Dahmer! In Marc Meyers' 2017 film My Friend DahmerRoss Lynch portrayed serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer's high school days.

Darren Criss as Andrew Cunanan

For The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime StoryDarren Criss left his Glee persona behind as he portrayed serial killer Andrew Cunanan. The performance earned Criss an Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award.

Damon Herriman as Charles Manson

Damon Herriman has played infamous cult leader Charles Manson on not one, but two occasions. In Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon A Time...In Hollywood, Herriman is referred to as "Charlie." For a 2019 episode of Mindhunter, Herriman played Charles Manson for a scene opposite Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany.

Evan Peters as Charles Manson

In American Horror Story: Cult, the Manson family murders were recreated. For the scene, AHS lead Evan Peters channeled the infamous cult leader, Charles Manson.

Cameron Britton as Ed Kemper

Mindhunter does it again! Cameron Britton gave a bone-chilling portrayal as Ed Kemper on Netflix's Mindhunter.

John Cusack as Robert Hansen

In 2013's The Frozen Ground, John Cusack portrayed serial killer Robert Hansen (aka Butcher Baker). After abducting, raping and murdering at least 17 women, he was arrested and convicted in 1983.

Brian Dennehy as John Wayne Gacy

Brian Dennehy played John Wayne Gacy, the serial killer and sex offender who murdered at least 33 young men/boys between 1972 and 1978, in a two-part television special in 1992.

Charlize Theron as Aileen Wuornos

Charlize Theron won an Oscar for her portrayal of Aileen Wuornos, a serial killer who murdered seven men in Florida between 1989 and 1990. Monster, which came out in 2003, also stars Christina Ricci as a character based on Wuornos' ex-girlfriend Tyria Moore.

Zach Villa as Richard Ramirez

In season nine of American Horror Story, Zach Villa played real-life serial killer Richard Ramirez (aka Night Stalker). Ramirez terrorized Los Angeles and San Francisco residents between 1984 and 1985. The death row inmate died in prison in 2013.

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