See a first look at Elijah Wood and Luke Kirby in Ted Bundy drama No Man of God
EW speaks to Wood and director Amber Sealey, whose film is based on the real-life relationship between the serial killer and FBI agent Bill Hagmaier.
"Bill Hagmaier is the man who's credited with getting Ted Bundy to come clean about his crimes right before his execution," Sealey tells EW. "Even though Bill himself is a very religious, very good, very honorable person, he had to forge a friendship with Bundy, in a way, in order to get close enough to him in order for Bundy to feel safe enough to come clean. And he did."
"The film is really comprised of a series of conversations and those conversations are lifted in part from real conversations and then recollections from Bill of these conversations," Wood tells us.
No Man of God is produced by SpectreVision, the production company Wood founded in 2010 with Daniel Noah and Josh C. Waller. For the most part, Wood has been notable by his absence from the company's releases — which include 2018's Mandy and last year's Archenemy — and the Lord of the Rings actor didn't initially envision starring in the film.
"As it pertains to things that we do with our company, I'm never reading material thinking of myself as an actor," says Wood. "I'm only ever thinking as a producer. It was a significant way through the process that I was like, I actually do want to do this. I love Bill and I love his journey in this relationship."
Sealey reveals that Luke Kirby initially turned down the role of Bundy, who confessed to murdering dozens of women before his execution in 1989.
"I've wanted to work with him forever," says Sealey of Kirby, whose credits include playing Lenny Bruce on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. "We had some really talented brilliant actors interested in the role, but I couldn't get Luke out of my head. We just went through the normal channels, through his reps, and he turned it down. I was like no, he has to play Bundy. I knew some friends of his, and I hunted him down, and said, 'Just meet me, just to talk, and get to know each other.' We ended up really liking each other as friends and I said, 'Look, all the reasons why you don't want to play Bundy are exactly why I want you to play him.' So then he said 'Yes.'"
The real Bill Hagmaier was an invaluable resource for Sealey as she prepped and shot the film.
"I became quite good friends with him," says Sealey. "He was wonderful and so available. I would call him and ask, 'What did this feel like?' I could ask him about the emotional stuff, the family stuff, and then all he way down to, 'What color belts would you wear?'"
No Man of God costars Aleksa Palladino and Robert Patrick.
Exclusively see images from the film below.
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