Monday, November 01, 2010

Leonardo DiCaprio Acquires Film Rights to The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed by Erik Larson
More information about the book

The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Leonardo DiCaprio's production company has acquired the film rights to the bestselling book The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson.

Subtitled "Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America," the book tells the true story of two men, each handsome and unusually adept at his chosen work, who embodied an element of the great dynamic that characterized America’s rush toward the twentieth century. The architect was Daniel Hudson Burnham, the brilliant director of the World's Fair of 1893 in Chicago, the builder of many of the country’s most important structures, including the Flatiron Building in New York and Union Station in Washington, D.C. The murderer was Henry H. Holmes, a young doctor who, in a malign parody of the White City, built his “World’s Fair Hotel” just west of the fairgrounds—a torture palace complete with dissection table, gas chamber, and 3,000-degree crematorium. Burnham overcame tremendous obstacles and tragedies as he organized the talents of Frederick Law Olmsted, Charles McKim, Louis Sullivan, and others to transform swampy Jackson Park into the White City, while Holmes used the attraction of the great fair and his own satanic charms to lure scores of young women to their deaths. DiCaprio is interested in playing Holmes.

A film adaptation has been in various stages of pre-development since the book's publication in 2003. With DiCaprio's backing, the project is now expected to move along, the next step being to hire a screenwriter and director.

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