CANNES — Lebanese-born filmmaker Ziad Doueiri (“The Attack”) is set to make his English-language feature debut with “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile,” a Michael Werwie-penned psychological thriller.
The script made it on to the 2012 Black List and earned Werwie the Academy Nicholl Fellowship.
Michael Costigan, whose credits include “Prometheus” and “Robin Hood,” is producing. Glen Basner’s powerhouse Film Nation is in talks to take international sales.
The project turns on the dysfunctional relationship between America’s most famous serial killer, Ted Bundy, and his long-time girlfriend Liz.
Bundy, a killer and rapist of young girls and women who was notoriously charming, was executed in Florida in 1989.
“It’s not going to be like ‘When Harry Meets Sally’ but will be a very compelling love story,” Doueiri told Variety.
“It takes place between 1969 and 1979 and is told through the eyes of Bundy’s girlfriend, who suspected him for many years and eventually turned him in. She always felt guilty for doing so and met with him before his execution, an intense scene which we’ll see in the movie,” explained Doueiri.
Costigan said he was actively casting a pair of high-profile actors for the lead roles.
Shooting is expected to kick off in the fall in Georgia or Utah.
Doueiri said Costigan approached him to direct the movie after watching “The Attack” (pictured above), a critically-acclaimed drama about an Tel Aviv-based Arab surgeon who discovers his late wife is responsible for a suicide bombing.
Doueiri studied film in the U.S. and started his career working as first camera assistant on a number of American movies such as Quentin Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs,” “Pulp Fiction” and Jackie Brown.”
UTA represents both Doueiri and Werwie and is also handling domestic rights for the film.