Keanu Reeves to film miniseries The Devil in the White City in Chicago

Keanu Reeves
Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves (The Matrix, John Wick) is reportedly in talks to star in his first official television role ever in the miniseries The Devil in the White City.

According to Deadline, Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese will executive produce.

The limited series, based on the 2003 novel by Erik Larson is set in Chicago in 1893, interweaving the true tales of Daniel Burnham, the architect behind the 1893 World’s Fair, and H. H. Holmes, a serial killer who lured his victims to their deaths in his elaborately constructed “Murder Castle”.

The novel, The Devil in the White City is divided into four parts, the first three happening in Chicago between 1890 and 1893, while part four of the book takes place in Philadelphia circa 1895. The plot line revolves around Daniel Burnham, his building of the fair, and the struggles he overcomes. The other, a vivid and very different plot line, is that of H. H. Holmes, a mentally unstable pharmacist/doctor who forms a plan to use an abandoned lot across the street from his pharmacy to lure and kill multiple victims.

Keanu Reeves

The project has had many famous names attached to it since the book’s rights first began changing hands. The Devil in the White City was first put in development in Hollywood by Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner through their Cruise/Wagner banner, but the option lapsed in 2004. Paramount reacquired the film rights in 2007 and set it up with producers Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher.

In 2010, Leonardo DiCaprio purchased the rights to the book and had, at the time, set it up to be a feature with Paramount. In 2015 Deadline announced that the legendary director Martin Scorsese would be reuniting with DiCaprio for this project. DiCaprio and Scorsese have previously made The Wolf of Wall Street, Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed and Shutter Island together. 

At the time in 2015, it was announced that DiCaprio was to play H.H. Holmes, who is said to have murdered between 27 to 200 people, mostly single young women. However at this time it is unclear whether he will be in front of the camera or behind the scenes. Keanu Reeves is the only cast member announced at this time.

In 2019, Deadline announced that Hulu would be developing the book into a mini-series instead of a feature film and that Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese will executive produce the project along with Stacey Sher, Rick Yorn, Emma Koskoff, and Jennifer Davisson.

Director Todd Field has signed on to helm the first two episodes with Sam Shaw, who created Castle Rock and Manhattan, adapting the book to scripted form. Paramount is set to be involved with Paramount TV Studios producing alongside ABC Signature and Appian Way.

The project is still in pre-production and the entire cast has yet to be announced. As of yet, there is no information regarding filming schedules, however we have confirmed that the filming location is Chicago.

Stay tuned for more updates on this exciting project! 

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