A dark new film charting the early life of notorious gay serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer is set to hit US cinemas this autumn.

My Friend Dahmer sees former Disney star Ross Lynch take on the role of the infamous ‘Milwaukee Cannibal’, who killed and dismembered at least 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991.

The film, which is based one Derf Backderf’s non-fiction graphic novel of the same name charting the author’s teenage friendship with Dahmer, has been picked up for general release after creating a buzz at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival last month, Variety reports.

Directed by Mark Meyers, the biopic explores the Dahmer’s troubled childhood and adolescence, with filming even taking place at the killer’s boyhood home in Ohio.

Praising the source material upon which the film is based, Meyers said: “It’s a powerful book, which has deeply resonated with loads of people of many ages here and abroad.”

Born in Wisconsin in 1960, Dahmer committed his first murder at the age of 18 before going on to become one of the world’s most prolific serial killers.

Jeffrey Dahmer received 15 life sentences for the rape, murder, and dismemberment of seventeen men and boys between 1978 and 1991.

The former US army medic, who was later diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and a psychotic disorder, often sexually assaulted his victims before killing them and performing acts of both cannibalism and necrophilia.

He was arrested in 1991 after a man he had invited back to his apartment and handcuffed escaped and alerted police.

After being found to be legally sane at his trial, Dahmer received 15 life sentences in 1992, but was killed in prison by fellow inmates less than three years into his sentence, at the age of 34.

Danny Fisher, CEO of FilmRise, in a statement: “Marc has created a haunting, heartbreaking, and totally unexpected exploration of one of the most notorious figures in American crime history.”

“We are beyond thrilled to bring this powerful film — and Ross Lynch’s incredible performance as Dahmer — to audiences in the fall.”

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