One of Hollywood's longest in-development projects may finally make its way into production. No, we're not talking about Locke & Key (this time anyway) or Stanley Kubrick's Napoleon, but rather The Devil in the White City, an award-winning literary work that's been primed for on-screen adaptation for quite some time. Now, it appears as though Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese's long-time project will finally happen, with as Hulu snagging the rights to spin it into a TV series.
For the moment, it's unknown whether or not Leonardo DiCaprio will have an on-screen role in the project, or if he'll stay behind the scenes. If he does join for a role, it will be the first time Leonardo DiCaprio has had an ongoing television role since Growing Pains in the early 90s. For now, THR reports he is simply listed as an executive producer alongside such names as Martin Scorsese, Stacey Sher, Rick Yorn, Emma Koskoff and Jennifer Davisson.
As hinted at, the idea of adapting Erik Larson's best-selling novel The Devil In The White City has been floating around since at least the early 2000s. Leonardo DiCaprio acquired the rights to the true crime work in 2010, and rumors have sporadically popped up every since, with the implication that it was going to be made. Obviously, those past plans never worked out, so it's possible this recent news could end up being yet another false start. Hopefully not, though.
The good news is, because The Devil In The White City is a complicated tale, and it may have always been better suited for television than film. The story is split between the lives of two men, famed architect Daniel Burnham and famed serial killer H.H. Holmes. The two made their mark on the world during the Chicago 1893 World's Fair, albeit in two entirely different ways.
The two men's stories don't really intertwines beyond the fact they were both doing big things in Chicago, which could've made a film adaptation feel rushed for either man. Obviously the allure of a tale about America's first hyper-notorious serial killer is the main draw, but those who have read The Devil In The White City know there are plenty of things that Daniel Burnham did during this time that are both outstanding and noteworthy. Hopefully, Burnham gets some shine in this adaptation.
Especially since telling the two men's stories essentially allows for two lead actors to put on two wildly different performances. No names are out yet as far as who might be considered, although it was believed over a decade ago that Leonardo DiCaprio wanted the role of H.H. Holmes for himself. That made more sense in 2010 when Leo was around the same age as Holmes, but what about now? Has the actor aged out of the role?
CinemaBlend will keep an eye on Hulu's The Devil In The White City project, and keep readers in the loop with details as they surface. In the meantime, be sure to head over to our midseason premiere guide and take a look at all the great television arriving in the first part of the year.