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Arts and Entertainment

Disney Idol Will Play Cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer In New Movie

Ross Lynch (right). (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
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It's hard to imagine, but serial killer (and noted cannibal) Jeffrey Dahmer was once a regular teenager stumbling through the tedium of high school. This period in his life was recounted in a 2012 graphic novel called My Friend Dahmer, penned by author Derf Backderf.

Backderf had actually been Dahmer's classmate back when they were acne-ridden teenagers. The author said in an interview with BookReporter that, while he wasn't exactly BFFs with Dahmer, Backderf and his pals were the closest thing that Dahmer had to friends. "We were all Dahmer had! Which is, admittedly, sad. And once high school ended, he was alone for the rest of his life," said Backderf.

As announced earlier this summer, My Friend Dahmer will be adapted into a film. Who was tapped to play the notorious killer with a penchant for human flesh? It's this guy!

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Meet 20-year-old Ross Lynch. Singer. Actor. Disney heartthrob. He's the frontman of R5, an L.A.-based pop-rock outfit. He also played the lead in several Disney offerings such as the Austin & Ally series, 2013's Teen Beach Movie, and the subsequent Teen Beach 2 (which, if IMDB ratings are to be trusted, is better than its predecessor).

Shooting has already wrapped on the movie version of My Friend Dahmer, and photos of Lynch as Dahmer have been released. We have to say, the resemblance is striking. Here's a picture of a younger Dahmer:

And here's Lynch as Dahmer:

The resemblance was so close, in fact, that it led to a momentary freakout for Backderf:

Though, as Lynch's fans already know, Lynch is nothing like the reticent and anti-social Dahmer, who murdered at least 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991. Lynch is just your average, blue-collared teen idol with a global fanbase. Here's him in between shoots, unwinding with some ping-pong:

And here's him signing an autograph for an adoring fan:

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The Dahmer role may seem like a major shift for a Disney personality. But, as Backderf told Rolling Stone in July, the graphic novel (and thus the film) has no intentions of being a gorefest. "It's not a slasher film—it's a very melancholy tale full of regret and remorse that shows this young kid spiraling into madness," said Backderf. So maybe this will be more Lars Von Trier than Eli Roth. Either way, it sounds intriguing.

Anne Heche will be playing Dahmer's mom, and, according to Deadline, some of the scenes will be shot in an Akron, Ohio house where Dahmer had grown up. There's no release date set yet, but My Friend Dahmer is expected to come out sometime in 2017, according to MTV News. In the meanwhile, you can get better acquainted with Lynch. Aside from singing and acting, the multi-threat talent also plays ice hockey, skateboards, and is even a licensed pilot:

It's worth nothing that Dahmer, who was beaten to death in prison in 1994 by a fellow inmate, cropped up in the news again earlier this year. As noted at The Wrap, his Ohio house was listed as an "approved housing provider" for the Republican National Convention when it rolled through in Cleveland in July. It's uncertain, however, if this is the same house that will be filmed in My Friend Dahmer.

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