Chicago film critic Sergio Mims tossed this bit of news to me late yesterday: The website Deadline New York is reporting Leonardo DiCaprio and his team have acquired the film rights to Erik Larson’s 2003 best-seller, Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic And Madness At The Fair That Changed America. DiCaprio will play serial killer H.H. Holmes, the true-life maniac who used the fair to lure victims to his veritable chamber of horrors on West 63rd Street.
Plans to turn Larson’s book into a movie have bounced around for years now, with Tom Cruise looking to give a go of it at one point. This blog in April asked “Where in the Devil is the White City Movie?” Several of you thought DiCaprio would make a good Holmes, while others said Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp would be good choices. (I think Alfred Molina or John Goodman would make a great Daniel Burnham…)
There’s no studio deal yet, so it’s all just talk at this point. But for those of us who’d like to see the “Devil” on the big screen, it’s a significant step.