Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio’s ‘Devil in the White City’ Adaptation Dead at Hulu

The thriller series, based on the novel of the same name, has gone through multiple lineups, including Tom Cruise and Keanu Reeves

Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, Devil in the White City
Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio (Getty Images) Devil in the White City (Crown Publishers)

Martin Scorsee and Leonardo DiCaprio’s adaptation of “The Devil in the White City,” based on Erik Larson’s 2003 book about the notorious real-life 19th-century serial killer, is no longer moving forward at Hulu, multiple sources reported on Monday.

It’s the latest no-go for the project in a nearly 20-year attempt to bring it to the screen. The most recent version had Keanu Reeves set to star as visionary architect Daniel H. Burnham, but once “Tár” director Todd Field exited in October, so did Reeves.

No casting was announced for the title role of Dr. H. H. Holmes, who is considered America’s first modern serial killer. He slaughtered guests who were attending the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair in his diabolical “Murder Castle.” The horrific true story inspired a 2006 episode of “Supernatural.”

DiCaprio acquired the rights in 2010 through his Appian Way Productions and Scorsese signed on to direct as a film in 2015. The two stayed on as executive producers when it was repurposed as a TV series in August 2022, and are said to be trying to shop it to a new home.

Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner first optioned it for Paramount, but their option lapsed in 2004. Paramount reacquired the film rights in 2007, this time with producers Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher onboard.

The newest iteration had Scorsese, DiCaprio, Sher, Rick Yorn, Sam Shaw, Mark Lafferty and Jennifer Davisson of Appian Way as eps with Shaw adapting and serving as showrunner for ABC Signature and Paramount Television Studios.