Netflix's Ted Bundy documentary — and the upcoming dramatization, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile starring Zac Efron — sparked an important debate about how serial killers are portrayed in Hollywood. Recent depictions have romanticized men who committed atrocities against women, and rewrote their narratives by casting them in a more sympathetic light due to their appearance. Anyways, Hollywood is gonna go ahead and ignore all that backlash and cast Michael Sheen as a charming serial killer in the pilot for Prodigal Son.
The Fox pilot produced by Greg Berlanti has cast the actor as the serial-killer father of a psychologist who helps his son solve crimes with the NYPD, Variety reports. Its Sheen's character's expertise — specifically, that he murdered 20 people — that will help his son understand the brain of a killer.
This isn't the only recent example of the new Hot Serial Killer trope. Back in February, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Colin Farrell is set to star as a killer in the two-part BBC series The North Water. His character is described as a "brutish amoral killer" who just happens to look like, well, Colin Farrell. Earlier this year, You's Penn Badgley literally had to tell fans to stop lusting after, and defending, his character's murderous and sinister actions on the Lifetime series.
"Even when convicted of the most depraved crimes, a white man’s supposed potential will supersede reality," Refinery29's Ashley Edwards wrote on the topic of "charming" serial killers back in January. And it appears Hollywood is continuing down that same path, softening the impact of white men who more often than not are committing violent crimes against women. Can we add a no-more-hot-serial-killers clause to Time's Up? That's only half a joke.