ABC Chicago — Keanu Reeves will star in a television adaptation of ‘The Devil in White Town,’ the best-selling nonfiction thriller about ambition, a killer, and the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago.
The video featured is from a previous report.
Reeves will play Daniel H. Burnham, an architect “trying to make history” with his designs for the fair, Hulu said when announcing the limited series Thursday. The other central role, that of convicted murderer Dr. HH Holmes, has yet to be cast, the streaming service said.
Erik Larson’s romantic account of the fair – officially called the World’s Columbian Exposition – was published in 2003. The fair’s nickname was White City, due to the color of most of its building exteriors.
Various Hollywood actors circled the book, and Leonardo DiCaprio acquired the rights in 2010, aiming to star in a big-screen version as Holmes. Martin Scorsese would have been staged.
Scorsese, DiCaprio and Reeves are among the show’s producers. There was no immediate word of an on-screen role for DiCaprio in the Hulu Project, and his release date has not been announced.
For those who have never read “The Devil in the White City”, do yourself a favor and smash the buy button on Amazon right now.
This is without a doubt one of the best books I have ever read and for Chicagoans or anyone who loves the city, this is a must read.
Without spoiling anything-
It tells the true story of Daniel H. Burnham (Reeves), a demanding but visionary architect who races to make history with the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893, and Dr. HH Holmes, the first modern serial killer in ‘America and the man behind the notorious “Murder Castle” built in the shadow of the Fair.
It paints an incredible picture of Chicago as a boomtown at the turn of the century. With murder, mysteries and drama juxtaposed against one of the biggest events in the world, the 1893 World’s Fair, it makes for an entertaining and informative read at the same time.
If you find reading to be the most boring thing possible, but still want to read more often, this is a great book to dip your toes in the pool.
And the story of this great book coming to life on screen has been a long and complicated one.
Leo DiCaprio acquired the rights in 2010 with the intention of adapting it into a film in which he would play the role of Holmes. Scorsese came on board to direct in 2015 with Billy Ray set to write the screenplay. It was first put into development in Hollywood by Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner through their Cruise/Wagner banner through the pebble deal with Paramount, but the option expired in 2004. Paramount bought the film rights back in 2007 and set it up with producers Michael Shamberg and Sher. Hulu announced it was developing it as a series in 2019, with Reeves reportedly in negotiations for a starring role on the show in January 2022.
Martin Scorsese, Rick Yorn, Leonardo DiCaprio and Appian Way’s Jennifer Davisson, Stacey Sher, Sam Shaw and Mark Lafferty serve as the series’ executive producers. Reeves will serve as executive producer in addition to starring.
How they finally crossed the finish line and made an official announcement is incredible news. I can’t wait to see this all come to life when finished.
ps – a few months ago Michael Angelo and I announced the Barstool Book Club. We got a little sidetracked and distracted, but plan to get things back online in a week or two. Anyone with any suggestions or advice, please message us on social media or email me at [email protected]