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The Devil In The White City - What We Know So Far

Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio are one of the most dynamic (and successful) actor-director duos in all of Hollywood. The two have pumped out blockbuster hits like "The Departed," "Shutter Island," and "The Aviator" without ever skipping a beat, and in fact, the two are currently collaborating on Scorsese's upcoming film "Killers of the Flower Moon," which stars DiCaprio as a detective investigating the mysterious murders of the Osage Nation during the 1920s (via IndieWire).

It's not the first nonfiction project between the two, nor will it be the last: as both men are also serving as executive producers on the upcoming Hulu drama series "The Devil in the White City" (via Variety). Based on the nonfiction novel of the same name by Erik Larson, the film will follow the dark history surrounding the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, focusing in particular on the exploits of Henry H. Holmes, the man who is frequently named as the world's first serial killer (Britannica).

The series is a passion project for DiCaprio, who purchased the film rights around 10 years ago and has been fighting to get the project off the ground ever since. Now that it's in development at Hulu, It looks like he will finally get his wish. Here's everything we know so far about the upcoming "The Devil in the White City" series.

When will the The Devil in the White City be released?

Despite DiCaprio's interest in the story, "The Devil in the White City" has been stewing in development hell for years, beginning first as a feature film before being changed over to a miniseries. After such a long time, fans of Larson's novel will certainly be clamoring for the highly anticipated miniseries to release sooner rather than later — though the unfortunate truth is that they might be waiting a while.

After wrapping on "Killers of the Flower Moon," Leonardo DiCaprio has another Scorsese film in development called "Roosevelt," in which he will be playing Theodore Roosevelt (via Deadline). On top of that, he has also been connected to an adaptation of the Stephan Talty book, "The Black Hand" (via Variety). The IMDb page for "Roosevelt" claims the movie is planned for 2013, but both projects have had no real updates since they were first announced in 2017.  

While both of these films were announced before "The Devil in the White City," it's impossible to say which project DiCaprio will decide to work on next. Because of this, it's unclear when "The Devil in the White City" will even begin production — though you probably won't be seeing it anytime in 2022.

Who will star in The Devil in the White City?

As of right now, there is little to no information on the cast for the series, with the notable exception of serial killer H. H. Holmes, who is being played by none other than DiCaprio himself. The series would mark a welcome return to DiCaprio's early acting roots on the silver screen. He began his career at a very young age, starring in shows like "The New Lassie," "Parenthood," and "Growing Pains," though as you might guess, his television career as a child is about as different as can be from his career as an adult (via IMDb).

DiCaprio's character of Holmes was a real man who lived in Chicago at the time of the 1893 World's Fair, and famously operated a building that would come to be known as the "Murder Castle" — a hotel for any would-be victims who needed a place to stay during the fair. He once confessed to the murder of 27 people, but there are estimates that say he might have killed up to 200 during his time in Chicago (via Biography).

What is the plot of The Devil in the White City?

While we don't know the exact specifics of the series' plot, nor how much will be changed or fabricated for the screen, we can assume that the story will follow Erik Larson's bestselling novel, from which "The Devil in the White City" miniseries is being adapted.

Larson's novel weaves together the stories of two men leading up to and during the 1893 World's Fair: the famous architect Daniel H. Burnham, and the aforementioned H. H. Holmes. Larson describes the paralleling journeys of both men, as Burnham works to construct the monumental Chicago World's Fair, and Holmes works to build his Murder Castle and charm his victims. 

The result is a historical drama that blends together the harrowing and dangerous construction of the World's Fair with the story of a "Devil" using the event as the perfect hunting grounds for his own evil schemes. It's an exceptional novel that pulls you in from start to finish, and audiences will certainly be in for a treat whenever "The Devil in the White City" miniseries is finally released.