Movie about San Antonio-born ‘Dating Game Killer’ seeking buyer at Cannes

Anna Kendrick is expected to star in film about Rodney James Alcala, Cheryl Bradshaw

FILE - In this Jan. 7, 2013, file photo, convicted serial killer Rodney James Alcala appears in court in New York. (AP Photo/David Handschuh, Pool, File) (David Handschuh)

SAN ANTONIO – A movie about a San Antonio-born serial killer is on the market at the 75th Cannes Film Festival.

Deadline reported that AGC Studios is looking for a buyer for a movie about Rodney James Alcala, known as “The Dating Game Killer.”

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The movie, which is expected to star actress Anna Kendrick, was previously acquired by Netflix, but it is no longer linked to the streaming service, Deadline reported.

Kendrick is also expected to produce the movie with her company Let’s Go Again, along with J.D. Lifshitz and Raphael Margules with BoulderLight Pictures, and Roy Lee and Miri Yoon with Vertigo Entertainment.

Chloe Okuno will direct the film, Deadline reports.

The movie is based on the real-life episode of “The Dating Game” that matched bachelor Alcala with bachelorette Cheryl Bradshaw.

At the time of the 1978 episode, Alcala had already killed at least five women and was charged with the attempted murder of an 8-year-old girl, according to ABC News. No one on the show knew about the charge because there wasn’t a national database or technology for background checks.

“He had a mystique about him that I found uncomfortable,” Mike Metzger, the executive producer, told ABC News.

After matching on the show, Bradshaw met with Alcala and they were expected to go on a chaperoned date.

Bradshaw knew almost immediately that something was wrong and didn’t want to follow through on the outing, Ellen Metzger, the show’s contest coordinator, told ABC News.

“She said, ‘Ellen, I can’t go out with this guy. There’s weird vibes that are coming off of him. He’s very strange. I am not comfortable. Is that going to be a problem?’ And of course, I said, ‘No,’” she said.

Alcala’s crimes weren’t exposed until the next year, when he was charged with the murder of 12-year-old Robin Samsoe. That’s when investigators found evidence and hundreds of images of unidentified women and children.

Alcala was sentenced to death in 2010 for five slayings in California between 1977 and 1979. He received an additional 25 years to life in 2013 after pleading guilty to two homicides in New York.

In 2016, he was charged again after DNA evidence connected him to the 1977 death of a 28-year-old woman, who was six months pregnant. He never faced trial because he was too ill.

While he was on death row, he was never executed; he died of natural causes in June at 77 years old.

Authorities estimate he killed up to 130 people, but the true victim count may never be known.

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About the Author

Rebecca Salinas is an award-winning digital journalist who joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.

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