No Man Of Gods Amber Sealey and Extremely Wickeds Joe Berlinger are having a Ted Bundy feud – The A.V. Club

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Amber Sealey

Amber Sealey
Photo: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Tribeca Festival

Two directors of high-profile films about serial killer Ted Bundy have gotten into a war of words this week, as director Amber Sealey—whose film No Man Of God, starring Luke Kirby as the infamous killer, and Elijah Wood as the FBI agent trying to plumb his mind, just opened at the Tribeca Film Festival—talked to Variety about an email she recently received from director Joe Berlinger. Berlinger was apparently unhappy with comments Sealey made during the promotion of No Man Of God that he thought were pointed at his films Conversations With A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, and the Zac Efron-starring dramatization Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil And Vile, and said as much, accusing her in the lengthy letter of “tearing down my work to promote yours.”

Sealey subsequently posted the email onto her Instagram, along with an invitation to Berlinger to come see her film (and her own note that, “This felt like you were just trying to make me feel shitty right before my screening”). She also stated, in a conversation with Variety, that she’s never made specific mention of Berlinger’s films in interviews, although she has stated that most other films about Bundy “glorify” the killer, telling Refinery29, “I don’t personally believe that any of the movies that have already been made up until now have really shown the real Bundy.” She also said that at least some Bundy films—a tradition stretching back to 1986’s The Deliberate Stranger, with Mark Harmon as the then-yet-to-be-executed murderer—made him out to be a “male model.” (If that was a specific dig at Efron’s portrayal in Extremely Wicked, though, it was left to subtext.)

Nevertheless, Berlinger clearly took offense, accusing Sealey of going down a slippery slope, and of being “intellectually dishonest and deeply offensive.” In the actual text of the email, he seems to be addressing critics of his past films as much as he is Sealey—addressing various complaints that his works “glorify” Bundy—and touts that Conversations was “the #1 unscripted show on Netflix in 2019.” Despite this wide ranging address, Berlinger told Variety that he’d intended his letter for Sealey’s eyes only, and accused her in a follow-up of merely publicizing it for publicity for her film. For Sealey’s part: “It felt like he was trying to silence me, to let me know that his films and his work were more important than mine could ever be and it felt a little mansplain-y.”

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