According to Deadline, Keanu Reeves has entered negotiations to portray one of the leading roles in Hulu’s forthcoming series adaptation of Erik Larson’s 2003 historical thriller novel titled The Devil in the White City. The long-in-development project hails from Oscar winners and frequent collaborators Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese, who have both been attached since 2010.
It’s still unclear which character Reeves is currently in talks for, but this would mark the John Wick star’s first major U.S. TV project as the lead. The project is being described as a big-budget adaptation, which was initially set to be adapted as a feature.
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The Devil in the White City centers around two characters at the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893: a brilliant and fastidious architect, who’s racing to make his mark on the world; and a handsome and cunning doctor, who’s secretly a serial killer that seduces, tortures, and mutilate young women in his own murder castle.
Pick up a copy of the novel here.
The book’s official synopsis reads: “Two men, each handsome and unusually adept at his chosen work, embodied an element of the great dynamic that characterized America’s rush toward the twentieth century. The architect was Daniel Hudson Burnham, the fair’s brilliant director of works and the builder of many of the country’s most important structures, including the Flatiron Building in New York and Union Station in Washington, D.C. The murderer was Henry H. Holmes, a young doctor who, in a malign parody of the White City, built his “World’s Fair Hotel” just west of the fairgrounds—a torture palace complete with dissection table, gas chamber, and 3,000-degree crematorium.
“Burnham overcame tremendous obstacles and tragedies as he organized the talents of Frederick Law Olmsted, Charles McKim, Louis Sullivan, and others to transform swampy Jackson Park into the White City, while Holmes used the attraction of the great fair and his own satanic charms to lure scores of young women to their deaths. What makes the story all the more chilling is that Holmes really lived, walking the grounds of that dream city by the lake. The Devil in the White City draws the reader into the enchantment of the Gilded Age, made all the more appealing by a supporting cast of real-life characters, including Buffalo Bill, Theodore Dreiser, Susan B. Anthony, Thomas Edison, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, and others.”
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The series adaptation was first announced in 2019, with DiCaprio and Scorsese serving as executive producers. Oscar nominated filmmaker Todd Field has also signed on to direct the first two episodes.
Executive producers are Rick Yorn, Sam Shaw, Jennifer Davisson, and Stacey Sher. It is a production by ABC Signature, Appian Way, and Paramount TV Studios.