When Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair That Changed America was published in 2003, it seemed to be only a matter of time before the brilliant book would become a motion picture.
The lavishly told tale of Daniel Burnham's heroic efforts to plan and construct the Chicago 1893 World's Fair juxtaposed with that of serial killer H.H. Holmes who ran a murderous house of horrors mere miles west of the fair captured the attention of actor Tom Cruise's company, which purchased the book's film rights in 2003. At the same time, Leonardo DiCaprio's camp said it had been working on its own film regarding Holmes. You could imagine a heck of a film, with special effects that would allow us to truly see the White City fairgrounds as they were--and how they served as a backdrop for an astounding cast of characters from Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass to Little Egypt (a rumpshaker) and Buffalo Bill Cody.