With three Ted Bundy films out in as many years, their respective filmmakers are getting competitive.
Joe Berlinger, who directed both “Conversations With A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes” and Zac Efron’s “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil And Vile”, sent an “unsolicited” email after comments made by Amber Sealey that he felt were “tearing down” his films.
Over the weekend, Sealey’s “No Man Of God” starring Elijah Wood and Luke Kirby premiered at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival.
Berlinger marked the moment by emailing Sealey, which she then shared on social media.
“Forgive the unsolicited advice, but after reading some of your interviews about your Bundy movie, I feel compelled to tell you that tearing down my work to promote yours is a slippery slope and intellectually dishonest and deeply offensive,” the email read. “How did my film glorify Bundy?
“I wish you the best with the film but please don’t promote it at my expense. I hope you have a critical response, but I think once your reviews are in, you will find that some of your reviewers will purposely misunderstand your intention and criticize your work as glorification … Perhaps you will later have more empathy for what I am saying here. Good luck with your premiere.”
He then listed his accomplishments including the Netflix ratings for both his films.
“Received this unsolicited email this morning,” Sealey captioned it. “Thanks for the support, Joe. We have an extra ticket for you to the #NoManOfGod premiere tonight if you’d like to see the movie for yourself and we can discuss more in person openly? Cuz this felt like you were just trying to make me feel shitty right before my screening. Have a great day.”
But it didn’t stop there.
Berlinger responded via a statement to Variety.
“Promoting her film about the rape and murder of women by tearing down my film that was designed to be a victim-focused film about the psychology of betrayal and deception, made with the full support of victim Liz Kendall, played by Lily Collins, and was supported by other victims of Bundy’s crimes felt intellectually dishonest,” he said.
“In a private email, I let Amber know my feelings in a thoughtful manner. Her publication of that private email is as self-promotional as her comments about my film. There is room for many takes on a subject, and I wish her the best. It’s a miracle that any film gets made these days — so to tear down other people’s work to promote your own is not how filmmakers should treat one another. Remember, she made it public, not me. Mine was a private email.”
With another two Ted Bundy films currently in production — one of which stars Chad Michael Murray — this feud might not be over.