Casting Call: The Devil in the White City

Published August 20, 2015

In which we suggest who should star in the next big adaptation, remake, or historical film.

The Devil in the White City, Erik Larson’s gripping book about one of America’s first known serial killers, is finally being adapted for the big screen. Paramount won the auction for the book rights (five other studios were bidding) and, according to Variety, dream-team Martin Scorsese and Leonardi DiCaprio have already signed on to direct and star with Billy Ray (Captain Phillips, The Hunger Games, Shattered Glass) penning the script.

In his book, Larson gives a detailed account of how Henry Howard Holmes, a calculating criminal and doctor, killed between 20 to 200 people during the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. Holmes’ victims were predominately women, and included his lovers and their children. His three storey home, later known as the Murder Castle, featured a crematorium, secret rooms, gas chambers, and even dissecting tables. He used his charms not only to seduce women (he was married to different women at the time of his death), but also to swindle money out of associates, wealthy friends, and companies.

Another prominent character in The Devil in the White City is Daniel Burnham, the architect whose hard work created the “White City” in Chicago that brought together 27 million people from all over the world. The Fair was seen as a symbol of emerging America, but in its dark shadows, only a few blocks away, Holmes’ wicked mind was at work. Burnham never met him, but their lives will always be intertwined.

While DiCaprio is currently the only actor attached to the project, we have a few ideas about who else should star.

Casting Call runs every Friday. For more, click here.