The series adaptation of “The Devil in the White City” is no longer moving forward at Hulu, Variety has learned.
The series had originally been ordered to series at the streamer in August 2022 after originally being put into development there in 2019. At the time it was ordered, Keanu Reeves was attached to star in one of the lead roles with Todd Field onboard to direct.
However, Variety exclusively reported that Field had dropped out of the show in October, with Reeves also exiting. According to sources, Reeves had signed on to the series due in part to Field’s involvement, but left the show once Field did.
According to an individual with knowledge of the situation, there are plans to shop the project to other outlets.
Per the official logline, the show “tells the true story of Daniel H. Burnham, a demanding but visionary architect who races to make his mark on history with the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, and Dr. H. H. Holmes, America’s first modern serial killer and the man behind the notorious ‘Murder Castle’ built in the Fair’s shadow.” Reeves was attached to play Burnham, while no official casting had been confirmed for Holmes.
The show, which is based on the book of the same name by Erik Larson, has had a long path to the screen. Leonardo DiCaprio and his Appian Way Productions acquired the rights in 2010 with plans to adapt it as a film in which he would star as Holmes. Martin Scorsese came onboard to direct in 2015 with Billy Ray set to write the script. It was first put in development in Hollywood by Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner through their Cruise/Wagner banner via the shingle’s deal with Paramount, but the option lapsed in 2004. Paramount reacquired the film rights in 2007 and set it up with producers Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher.
Scorsese, Rick Yorn, DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson of Appian Way are attached as executive producers along with Sher, Sam Shaw, and Mark Lafferty. Shaw was set to adapt the book for the screen and serve as showrunner and executive producer, with Lila Byock also executive producing. ABC Signature was to produce in association with Paramount Television Studios.