Anna Kendrick to Make Directorial Debut in Thriller About The Dating Game Killer

Anna Kendrick is set to make her directorial debut with The Dating Game, an upcoming thriller that recounts the stranger-than-fiction story of Cheryl Bradshaw and Rodney Alcala. In 1978, Bradshaw appeared on the popular game show The Dating Game, where she had her choice of three available bachelors. Bradshaw selected bachelor number one, Rodney Alcala, for a future date. Fortunately, Bradshaw’s intuition didn’t fail her when she later decided against following through on the actual date with Alcala, as she found him odd. As it turned out, Alcala was a deranged killer in the middle of a murderous rampage that took the lives of five women.

Kendrick will also star as Bradshaw and produce the film, per Deadline.

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“I’ve loved this script from the moment I read it. And while I was obviously thrilled to be playing the character of Cheryl, I felt so connected to the story, the tone, and the themes around gender and intimacy, that when the opportunity came up to direct the film, I jumped at it. It feels meant to be. The support I’ve received already from Stuart Ford and everyone at AGC, Vertigo, and BoulderLight has been inspiring and empowering,” Kendrick said in a statement.

The script was penned by Ian MacAllister McDonald. Stuart Ford’s AGC Studios is financing and co-producing the film alongside J.D. Lifshitz and Raphael Margules for BoulderLight Pictures and Roy Lee and Miri Yoon for Vertigo Entertainment. Kendrick will produce under her Let’s Go Again banner, which is also behind the Kendrick-led Alice, Darling premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival. The Dating Game is currently in pre-production, and casting is ongoing.

Kendrick’s portrayal of Jessica Stanley in the Twilight franchise is largely considered her breakout role. Kendrick’s other film credits include Up in the Air, which her earned her multiple award nominations, Pitch Perfect, 50/50 and Into the Woods. In May, outlets reported that the actress would star alongside Blake Lively in a sequel to their 2018 film A Simple Favor.

The Dating Game Killer

Rodney Alcala was sentenced to death in California in 1980 for five murders. He would later be convicted of two more murders in New York. It is believed that Alcala, who was a photographer who would often attract women and girls by offering to take their pictures, may have been responsible for many more murders as police discovered hundreds of photos that belonged to him. As DNA technology advanced, Alcala was linked to nearly 130 murders.

Alcala died of natural causes on July 24, 2021, while on death row. Upon news of his passing, Tali Shapiro, one of his surviving victims who was eight years old when she was attacked by Alcala, told The New York Times:

“The planet is a better place without him, that’s for sure.”