With his production company, Appian Way, acquiring the rights to the bestselling novel, Leonardo DiCaprio (Django Unchained) will officially star in an adaptation of Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America with longtime collaborator Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street) directing, according to Deadline.
DiCaprio will play Dr. HH Holmes, one of the most prolific serial killers in American history who murdered a string of victims while Chicago was consumed with planning the 1893 World’s Fair. Holmes ran a hotel specifically for the fair and used it to target young women. DiCaprio will be seen next in Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s (Birdman) The Revenant.
For Scorsese, this will be the sixth time the director has paired up with DiCaprio. It will be a bit different this time out however, as this is the first time Scorsese has directed DiCaprio as a villain. The actor played a morally bankrupt character in 2014’s The Wolf of Wall Street but never a straight-up villain in a Scorsese film. He played plantation and slave-owner Calvin Candie in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. This will also be the first time that Scorsese has returned to the 19th century since he directed DiCaprio in their first collaboration, Gangs of New York (2002).
Billy Ray (Captain Phillips) has been tapped to write the script. Along with Captain Phillips, Ray has adapted the true journalism story Shattered Glass (2003) and the true-spy drama Breach (2007). He also wrote the serial killer film Suspect Zero (2004), as well as the upcoming murder mystery/revenge tale The Secret in Their Eyes.
No release date has been announced at this time but it’s smart money to bet that Paramount is aiming for a prestige fall release next year.