Metallica frontman James Hetfield's debut as a dramatic actor in the film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, And Vile will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 26th. The film follows the relationship between notorious serial killer Ted Bundy, played by Zac Efron, and his longtime girlfriend, played by Lily Collins, who at the time had no knowledge of Bundy's crimes.

Hetfield appears as officer Bob Hayward, a no-nonsense Utah highway patrol veteran who was the first law enforcement officer to arrest Bundy in 1975 after pulling the killer over and discovering burglary tools in his car but suspecting much worse. While Hetfield has played himself in other films and television productions, this is the first time he'll play a character in a dramatic role.

The film is directed by Joe Berlinger, co-director with the late Bruce Sinofsky of the acclaimed 2004 documentary Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster. Hetfield told us a while back that the raw and brutally honest doc was still tough to watch: ["First couple times it was difficult. There are certain scenes in the film that will always be difficult. You know, the fighting scenes — they're always pretty difficult. They always start to get your heart pumping again, and it makes sense 'cause it pushes a certain button in me, and everyone's got those buttons."] SOUNDCUE (:17 OC: . . . got those buttons.)

Berlinger said about casting Hetfield in Extremely Wicked, "Having spent hundreds of hours behind the scenes with James and the rest of Metallica, I have experienced his charisma and powerful presence close up. It seemed only natural that he would bring that same power and magnetism to a dramatic role, so when he agreed to my pitch that he be in the movie, I was thrilled."

The film also stars Jim Parsons from The Big Bang Theory, Haley Joel Osment of The Sixth Sense fame, John Malkovich from Bird Box and others. There's no word yet on a release date beyond the screening at Sundance.