Leonardo DiCaprio will once again team with director Martin Scorsese for a new thriller film based on Erik Larson's 2003 best-selling book, “The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and the Madness at the Fair that Changed America.”
The script will be written by Billy Ray, who is known for his work on “The Hunger Games” and “Captain Phillips.” According to Deadline, which first reported the news, DiCaprio will play a serial killer named Dr. H.H. Holmes, who confessed to the murders of 27 women in 1893. The movie is based on the real-life story of Holmes, whose murder count is believed to be around 200.
DiCaprio's character will be “the 19th-century equivalent of Hannibal Lecter,” Deadline writes. Holmes is famous for building a hotel, later nicknamed “The Murder Castle,” where he took his victims and tortured them in various ways. The castle had various torture rooms that included huge acid pits and gas pipelines, where Holmes reportedly asphyxiated and tormented his victims.
Holmes was finally hanged in May 1896 after a murder case. During the court trial, Holmes admitted he was “born with a devil” in him. “I could not help the fact that I was a murderer, no more than the poet can help the inspiration to sing -- I was born with the 'Evil One' standing as my sponsor beside the bed where I was ushered into the world, and he has been with me since,” his Wikipedia biography says.
The movie has been in discussion for the last 10 years. Tom Cruise acquired the rights to the book in 2003, but Paramount Pictures bought the rights in 2007.
This will mark DiCaprio and Scorsese’s first project together since 2013’s “The Wolf of Wall Street.” The pair have collaborated on some of the most memorable movies of recent years, including “Gangs Of New York,” “The Aviator,” “The Departed” and “Shutter Island.”