Actor to play serial killer in adaptation of Larson book

Leonardo DiCaprio has signed to star as a serial killer in “The Devil in the White City,” set up through his Appian Way Prods. with Double Feature Films.

DiCaprio will play H.H. Holmes, who murdered somewhere between 27 and 200 people, mostly single young women. Erik Larson’s nonfiction book “The Devil in the White City,” which has sold 2.3 million copies and been translated into 17 languages, is set against the backdrop of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, tells the intertwining stories of fair architect Daniel H. Burnham and Holmes, who used a hotel he built near the fairgrounds to lure his victims.

Project’s not set up at a studio. Appian Way, headed by DiCaprio and Jennifer Killoran, has a first look deal at Warner Bros.

“The Devil in the White City,” was first put been in development in Hollywood by Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner through their Cruise/Wagner banner through the shingle’s deal with Par, but the option lapsed in 2004. Paramount reacquired the film rights in 2007 and set it up with producers Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher, whose shingle Double Feature Films had a first-look deal with the studio at that point.

Appian Way is in post production on “Red Riding Hood” and currently developing “Akira,” “The Infiltrator” and “Wolf of Wall Street,” based on Jordan Belfort’s autobiography. Di Caprio is next appearing in Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar Hoover biopic “Hoover.”

Double Feature’s in production on “Contagion,” directed by Steven Soderbergh, and in post-production on the comedy “LOL.”

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