February 24th, 2021 / 5 Comments


H. H. Holmes, a handsome doctor with striking blue eyes. He used the attraction of the great fair – and his own devilish charms – to lure scores of young women to their deaths.” The Devil in the White City, Erik Larson

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UPDATE: 24 February 2021

Here is the latest status of “The Devil in the White City” according to a recent interview with author Erik Larson:

NDN: What’s the status of “Devil in the White City” as a movie or miniseries with Leonardo DiCaprio?

EL: Here’s where it stands for now: It’s slated to be a Hulu series. DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese are still involved, I believe, but as executive producers. I don’t think DiCaprio has any intention of playing the killer Holmes, as was originally contemplated. The saga of adapting “Devil” for film or TV has been a long one. I’m not holding my breath, and not putting any down payments on a villa in the South of France, but I’m looking forward to going to the Oscars.

Thanks @sallyvg

UPDATE: 2 February 2021

According to Giant Freakin Robot:

Our insider has given us credible information that Robert Pattinson is currently in talks to portray real-life serial killer H.H. Holmes in Martin Scorsese’s The Devil in the White City. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Erik Larson and details the concurrent events surrounding the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition and the truly heinous serial murders of H.H. Holmes. Leonardo DiCaprio bought the film rights to the book back in 2010 and has been trying to produce a film version with Scorsese as the director ever since then. It looks like it might finally be getting off the ground.

And Robert Pattinson might have a big part to do with the project moving forward. While he has not been officially cast yet, it does look like the actor is in official talks for the role. It would definitely be in Robert Pattinson’s wheelhouse. He has a penchant for playing oddball characters and Holmes is one of the oddest. Often described as very charming, Holmes is usually credited as the first modern serial killer in American history. He also has the truly twisted distinction of crafting an elaborate “Murder Castle” that he placed his victims in. This is definitely a case where the truth might be stranger than fiction, but it is a story that begs to be seen in the art form of cinema.

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According to IMDbPro, “The Devil in the White City” has been announced on 11 February 2019 and although currently lists Leo in title role, the Observer noted back on 21 January 2020:

The actor was originally set to star as serial killer H.H. Holmes in Scorsese’s adaptation of the Erik Larson non-fiction novel The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair That Changed America, but that project has since been reimagined as a Hulu miniseries

From THR back on 11 February 2019:

Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese’s Devil in the White City project is going from a film to a TV series.

Hulu and Paramount Television are developing a small-screen adaptation of Erik Larson’s New York Times best-selling nonfiction thriller. The news was announced onstage Monday at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour.

The Devil in the White City tells the chilling true story of two men, an architect and a serial killer, whose fates were forever linked by the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893. Each embodied American ingenuity at the dawn of the 20th century: Daniel H. Burnham, a brilliant and fastidious architect racing to make his mark on the world, and Henry H. Holmes, a handsome and cunning doctor who fashioned his own pharmaceutical “Murder Castle” on fair grounds — a palace built to seduce, torture and mutilate young women.

The project has been in development at various studios since 2003. It was previously at Warner Bros., before moving to Paramount — but the studio let the rights lapse in 2004 and again in 2007, as the period setting posed budgetary challenges. At one point, Tom Cruise was set to star in and produce an adaptation, and later Kathryn Bigelow was attached to direct and produce. It wasn’t until 2010 that DiCaprio, said to be long fascinated by the dark subject matter, nabbed the rights himself.

Few details about the TV series — including whether or not DiCaprio will take an onscreen role as initially planned in the movie version — are known at this time. In addition to Scorsese and DiCaprio, executive producers will include Stacey Sher, Rick Yorn, Emma Koskoff and Jennifer Davisson.

We will keep you updated with any news about this potential project as soon as more comes to light. If you want to read more on Giant Freakin Robot click on the link above.


UPDATED: 2 February 2021

This is an almighty tease if it doesn’t come to fruition, but Rob alongside Matt Damon in a film is one of my bucket list duos (another being Christian Bale). According to Giant Freakin Robot:

Our info says that Matt Damon is the number one pick to star in The Devil in the White City, the upcoming series adaptation of the true-crime book by author Erik Larson. The series is set to be directed by legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese. The story details two concurrent events: the building and exhibition of the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago and the murders of H.H. Holmes, America’s first serial killer. We have already reported that Robert Pattinson is in talks to play the role of H.H. Holmes, and our info says that Damon is the studio’s most desired actor for the role of Daniel Burnham, the architect behind the World’s Fair.

Read more at the source.

  • sue
    Posted on January 29, 2021

    I’m all for Rob playing a serial killer! And I’m all for a mini-series rather than a movie ….. just saying. Fingers crossed we hear more news of this project soon.

  • Maria
    Posted on January 30, 2021

    You’re not alone there @Sue and I’ve been hoping Rob gets involved with a mini series since it seems to be the way to go these days.

  • Jamie M
    Posted on February 02, 2021

    Omg… This is perfect, my two favorite things, rob and true crime

  • Maria
    Posted on February 02, 2021

    I would love to see Rob play a serial killer. I remember he said something along those lines when he first went to Cannes in 2009 and was asked if he wanted to be a killer in a Tarantino film.

  • sue
    Posted on February 03, 2021

    I could certainly handle Rob and Matt Damon working on a project together ASAP

  • Leave a Reply



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