Leonardo DiCaprio is apparently dying to bring The Devil in the White City to movie theaters nationwide, and he’s asking Martin Scorsese to try to make it happen at Paramount. Devil tells the story of Dr. H.H. Holmes and his “murder castle” against the backdrop of Chicago’s World’s Fair in 1893 (and some stuff about Daniel Burnham, the architect behind the fair). It’s a great book if you’ve never read it — obviously, I’m a fan of anything related to a murder castle — and it would certainly make a compelling film if DiCaprio can get it off the ground.
The problem, as the Hollywood Reporter puts it, is that the film has languished in development hell since the book’s release in 2003, and has featured the likes of Tom Cruise and Kathryn Bigelow on the film’s possible roster. DiCaprio has held onto the project for six years to this point and hopes that it will soon see the light of day with Scorsese at the helm:
Paramount, after having acquired and let go of the project twice before, has scooped up the project, with DiCaprio on board to star, Scorsese to direct and Billy Ray to write the script, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
The project was previously at Warners and has been kicking around in development on and off since about 2003. But it always attracted the best talent…
It was in 2010 when DiCaprio, long fascinated by the dark subject matter, nabbed the rights himself, spending the last six years nurturing it.
DiCaprio is rumored to be playing the nefarious Holmes and, the Hollywood Reporter notes that it should be Scorsese’s next film if all goes as planned. Plenty of time to seek out the book, watch some documentaries, and creep out your friends at your end of summer barbecue. When you want to let your guests know it is time to leave, pull out the big book of serial killers. Works like a charm.
(Via the Hollywood Reporter)