Martin Scorsese Directing The Devil In The White City

Leonardo DiCaprio's killer passion project now at Paramount


by James White |
Published on

Here’s one we’re really, really excited about. It is, in fact, the adaptation of Erik Larson’s excellent true-crime thriller novel The Devil In The White City, which Leonardo DiCaprio has been trying to make for years with no success. Things are finally sharpening up for the film, with Martin Scorsese coming aboard to direct.

Larson’s scrupulously researched and endlessly compelling tome chronicles real-life serial killer Dr H.H. Holmes, who might not have gained the infamy of Jack the Ripper, but is alleged to have killed a slew of people around the time of the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. A weird and charismatic, if ghoulish figure, it’s easy to see why Holmes would appeal to DiCaprio on screen, even though the result will likely be darker than anything he’s tackled in the past (yes, even The Wolf Of Wall Street’s Jordan Belfort).

And reuniting with his Wolf/** Shutter Island** collaborator, Scorsese, is the best of all possible worlds. DiCaprio has been looking to get this one into production since the rights first became available, but finally snagged them in 2010. Writers such as The Imitation Game’s Graham Moore have come and gone and Warner Bros. had the option on the movie for a while, before letting it go around a month ago. DiCaprio, along with producers Rick Yorn, Stacey Sher, Michael Shamberg and Jennifer Davisson offered up a new deal that included a script by Captain Phillips’ Billy Ray and Paramount was quick to snatch it up, beating the likes of Fox and Universal to the project.

With luck, this will finally start moving quickly and DiCaprio can pencil in a date to team up with Scorsese once again. The actor has been busy on the punishing shoot for Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant, while Scorsese was working on missionary historical drama Silence.

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