Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese, who previously collaborated on feature films including Gangs Of New York and The Wolf Of Wall Street, are teaming up once again to executive produce a TV series entitled The Devil In The White City. Here’s everything you need to know…
Variety reports that the project is in development at the Hulu streaming service, based on Erik Larson’s non-fiction book, The Devil In The White City: Murder, Magic And Madness At The Fair That Changed America.
The book focuses on two real-life men, architect Daniel H. Burnham and doctor Henry H. Holmes, who met at The Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. DiCaprio bought the rights to the book years ago, with a viewing to starring in a film adaptation in the role of Henry. Now, though, it’s unclear if he’ll star or just stick to executive producing.
The book is available to buy from Amazon now, if you’d like to get ahead of the curve. This is its official synopsis:
Two men, each handsome and unusually adept at his chosen work, embodied an element of the great dynamic that characterized America’s rush toward the twentieth century. The architect was Daniel Hudson Burnham, the fair’s brilliant director of works and the builder of many of the country’s most important structures, including the Flatiron Building in New York and Union Station in Washington, D.C. The murderer was Henry H. Holmes, a young doctor who, in a malign parody of the White City, built his “World’s Fair Hotel” just west of the fairgrounds—a torture palace complete with dissection table, gas chamber, and 3,000-degree crematorium.
Burnham overcame tremendous obstacles and tragedies as he organized the talents of Frederick Law Olmsted, Charles McKim, Louis Sullivan, and others to transform swampy Jackson Park into the White City, while Holmes used the attraction of the great fair and his own satanic charms to lure scores of young women to their deaths. What makes the story all the more chilling is that Holmes really lived, walking the grounds of that dream city by the lake.
The Devil in the White City draws the reader into a time of magic and majesty, made all the more appealing by a supporting cast of real-life characters, including Buffalo Bill, Theodore Dreiser, Susan B. Anthony, Thomas Edison, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, and others. Erik Larson’s gifts as a storyteller are magnificently displayed in this rich narrative of the master builder, the killer, and the great fair that obsessed them both.
We’ll bring you more updates as this project develops.