Leonardo DiCaprio will reunite with director Martin Scorsese for the Paramount Pictures adaptation of “The Devil in the White City,” author Erik Larson’s gripping account of serial killer H.H. Holmes, set against the backdrop of the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago.
The actor has wanted to play this role of the killer for years — he was attached to the film in 2011, when Warner Bros. acquired the film rights — and now it looks as if he’ll get the chance, as Deadline reports Paramount beat out Fox and Universal Pictures in a bidding war.
Billy Ray (“The Hunger Games,” “Captain Phillips”) will write the script, with Appian Way’s DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson set to produce alongside Scorsese and others.
Published in 2003, Larson’s acclaimed book juxtaposes the work by young architect Daniel Hudson Burnham on the gleaming white city of the World’s 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.
“The Devil in the White City” will be the sixth collaboration between DiCaprio and Scorsese, following “Gangs of New York,” “The Aviator,” “The Departed,” “Shutter Island” and “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
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