Larson’s nonfiction book, set against the backdrop of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, tells the intertwining stories of fair architect Daniel H. Burnham and serial killer H.H. Holmes, who used a hotel he built near the fairgrounds to lure his victims. He murdered somewhere between 27 and 200 people, mostly single young women.
Warner Bros has acquired The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic And Madness At The Fair That Changed America, the 2003 non-fiction book by Erik Larson, reports Deadline.
The studio has set Graham Moore to script the story of Dr. HH Holmes, one of the most notorious serial killers in Chicago history. Leonardo DiCaprio is attached to play Holmes. Moore created a stir with his spec script The Imitation Game, which was acquired by Warner Bros in a 7-figure spec deal before it was judged to be the top script on The Black List that was released earlier this week.
Warner Bros acquired the project from Appian Way partners DiCaprio and Jennifer Killoran and Double Features partners Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher.
They will produce, and they acquired the novel late last year with “DiCaprio attached to play Holmes, the 19th Century equivalent of Hannibal Lecter. A cunning charmer, Holmes preyed on anywhere from 27 to 200 people at a time when the city of Chicago was enthralled with hosting the World’s Fair of 1893. Holmes constructed The World’s Fair Hotel, an inn more lethal than the Bates Motel, especially for young single women. The sociopath used charm and guile to lure guests into what became known as a “murder castle,” a haunt that had a gas chamber, crematorium and a dissecting table where Holmes would murder his victims and strip their skeletons to sell for medical and scientific study.” READ MORE
Leonardo DiCaprio has signed to star as America’s first ever serial killer in The Devil in the White City, set up through his Appian Way Prods. with Double Feature Films. DiCaprio will play H.H. Holmes, who murdered somewhere between 27 and 200 people, mostly single young women. Erik Larson’s nonfiction book “The Devil in the White City,” which has sold 2.3 million copies and been translated into 17 languages, is set against the backdrop of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, tells the intertwining stories of fair architect Daniel H. Burnham and Holmes, who used a hotel he built near the fairgrounds to lure his victims. Warner Bros. will now distribute. The Devil in the White City was first put been in development in Hollywood by Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner through their Cruise/Wagner banner through the shingle’s deal with Par, but the option lapsed in 2004.