Erik Larson’s acclaimed best seller, The Devil in the White City, is finally headed to the big screen
Planned for some time for Leonardo Dicaprio to headline, the big screen adaptation of Erik Larson’s best-selling true crime tale The Devil in the White City appears to finally be moving forward. Deadline today reports that Paramount Pictures has picked up the rights to the novel with the plan being for a big screen adaptation to become the sixth teaming between leading man DiCaprio and director Martin Scorsese. Academy Award nominee Billy Ray (Captain Phillips, The Hunger Games) will provide the adapted screenplay.
Published in 2003, The Devil in the White City is officially described by Crown Publishing as follows:
Their fates were linked by the magical Chicago World’s Fair of 1893, nicknamed the “White City” for its majestic beauty. Architect Daniel Burnham built it; serial killer Dr. H. H. Holmes used it to lure victims to his World’s Fair Hotel, designed for murder. Both men left behind them a powerful legacy, one of brilliance and energy, the other of sorrow and darkness.
Here, then, is your ticket to the greatest fair in history—a place where incredible dreams came to life alongside darkest nightmares.
DiCaprio will take on the part of the homicidal Mr. Holmes.
“I think that a guy who is that intelligent and that charismatic is nothing less than complex, and it’s that complexity that (DiCaprio) is drawn to,” said DiCaprio’s producing partner Jennifer Killoran of the project a few years back. “And because people don’t know much about him, it makes it even more interesting.”
Scorsese and DiCaprio first teamed on Gangs of New York in 2002, followed by The Aviator in 2004, The Departed in 2006, Shutter Island in 2010 and The Wolf of Wall Street in 2013. DiCaprio next headlines Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revanant, set for release December 25. Scorsese’s latest, Silence, is, meanwhile, still without a release date. Also hailing from Paramount, it stars Andrew Garfield, Ken Watanabe and Liam Neeson.