Warner Bros. has acquired the rights to The Devil in the White City, Erik Larson’s gripping 2003 account of serial killer H.H. Holmes set against the backdrop of the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. Leonardo DiCaprio is attached to star.
Deadline reports that Graham Moore, whose spec script The Imitation Game has created a stir, will write the screenplay.
Larson’s acclaimed book juxtaposes the work by young architect Daniel Hudson Burnham on the gleaming white city of the World Columbian Exposition with that of the charming Holmes on his infamous “murder castle,” just a stone’s throne away from the fairgrounds. Luring single young women to his World’s Fair Hotel, Holmes would kill them, sometimes in specially designed gas chambers or air-tight rooms, then drop their bodies down a secret chute to the basement, where he dissected some of them. He confessed to 27 murders, but it’s speculated the count could be as high as 200.
DiCaprio will produce the adaptation with his Appian Way partner Jennifer Killoran and Double Features partners Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher.
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