Nearly 20 years after it flew off bookshelves, the beloved novel’s adaptation will also serve as Keanu Reeves much-awaited return to period dramas
After years of fan speculation, Erick Larson’s best-selling 2003 novel Devil in the White City will be turned into a Hulu series — with John Wick star Keanu Reeves taking up the lead role.
Reeves’ involvement was initially teased in January, as the Leonardo DiCaprio-Martin Scorsese passion project began to pick up steam, over a decade after DiCaprio purchased the film’s rights after being enamoured with the novel. The original film was supposed to be a Paramount-produced Scorcese flick, with the script penned by Captain Phillips screenwriter Billy Ray.
Now, the series — which was greenlit between 2015 and 2019 — will be showrun and written by Castle Rock creator Sam Shaw.
The novel explores the true story between Daniel Burnham, a brilliant architect seeking to make his mark on the world, and Henry Holmes, a handsome, cunning, and terrifying doctor, who is credited with being the world’s first ‘modern’ serial killer.
Both men cross paths and their fates get intertwined at the 1893 Chicago World Fair, as one seeks to become the event’s guiding architect, while another sets up an infamous ‘Murder Castle’, designed to trap, torture, and kill his victims.
Most fans assume that Reeves will play Burnham, given the fact that the actor has already played a draftsman in 2006’s fantasy romance The Lake House, where he starred opposite Sandra Bullock. That said, Reeves has a serious arsenal of acting talent to draw from. While he doesn’t often play antagonists, he does play a seedy underworld killer in his (badly received) directorial debut, Man of Tai Chi, while his exploits in John Wick portray him as something of an antihero, at the very least.
As far as directors go, Shaw will be supported by the talents of Todd Field, the multi-Academy Award-nominated filmmaker behind In the Bedroom. DiCaprio and Scorsese will also return as executive producers, joined by Rick Yorn, Jennifer Davisson, Stacey Sher, Todd Field, Mark Lafferty, Sam Shaw, and Keanu Reeves.
Soon after the announcement, fans shared their support for the project on social media — particularly longtime readers of the book who are thrilled that it’ll finally see a serialized cinematic adaptation:
Others appreciated that the considerably dense, double-character narrative of the novel was better suited to a series format:
One daring user went so far as to suggest that Reeves could blow us all away by leading the film with a double role:
The series is currently under pre-production, with more details soon to come.
Lead Image: Lionsgate