It’s happening. It’s finally happening.
After purchasing the rights for Erik Larson’s 2003 nonfiction novel The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America in 2010, Leonardo DiCaprio has finally kicked the film project into motion, and he’s bringing his buddy Martin Scorsese along for the ride.
Based on true events, Devil in the White City tells two stories: the first, of Daniel H. Burnham, the master architect who designed the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago, and the second, of Dr. H. H. Holmes, often said to be the nation’s first serial killer.
Through Burnham, the reader sees into an analytical mind with the world on its shoulders as he takes on the position of Director of Works for the World’s Columbian Expo in 1893. As the fair approaches, suspense is built on whether Burnham can get the job done.
On the other side of town, Herman Webster Mudgett, better known as H. H. Holmes, builds the World’s Fair Hotel, which I’m convinced is what inspired theSaw films. He would lure victims into his building before torturing, gassing and killing them. He would sell the skeletons for medical and scientific study.
Without getting too deep into things, the book reveals a twisted tale of two polar opposites, yet both remain psychologically ambiguous. Burnham begins to lose his mind as the fair draws closer, and Holmes marries multiple times and has children with women he meets.
With DiCaprio looking to play Holmes and Scorsese at the director’s helm, this is sure to be a mindscape of a film. The release date is TBD.