‘Devil in the White City’ Dead at Hulu, But ABC Still Plans to Shop It

The Devil is dead once again.

The Devil in the White City has been in the news in some form or another – from industry whispers to major headlines – throughout the past decade, but has never come to fruition. The franchise appeared poised to finally break through when Hulu helmed the production alongside Executive Producers Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Then Keanu Reeves signed on to star. Then he walked. Then Hulu vowed to keep forging ahead. And now they have walked away as well.

The Disney-backed streamer is no longer moving forward with the limited series that had been in various stages of development for more than a decade. However, there is still hope as producers from ABC Signature remains committed to the drama and will be shopping the show to new outlets. All of this news comes courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter.

Chicago industry professionals and cinephiles were brimming with excitement to have this massive franchise land in the Windy City. However, sources told SCREEN that the bulk of the show was expected to film in Toronto anyway, despite being set in Chicago.

Based on the best-selling book by Erik Larson, Devil in the White City “tells the 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,” according to the official logline.

Could The Bear‘s Jeremy Allen White Join the Devil?

While the project is dead for now, there is still potential for it to resurface down the road, and if or when it does, it may be starring a familiar face for Chicago TV fans. Hulu and Paramount Television Studios and Disney’s ABC Signature, who together were on board to produce the series, had been in talks with The Bear star Jeremy Allen White. The Hollywood Reporter declares that ABC Signature is still in talks with White – as well as Jude Law and director Matt Ross – for the series, though it’s unclear where those talks will lead, given the fact that Devil does not currently have a home.

DiCaprio and Scorcese at the Helm

Executive Producers include Oscar Winner Leonardo DiCaprio

Despite its inability to get off the ground, the series boasts some high-profile executive producers, most notably Oscar winners Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio. Other executive producers include writer and showrunner Sam Shaw, Rick Yorn and Jennifer Davisson (for Appian Way), Stacey Sher, and Mark Lafferty.

The project has been in various stages of development since DiCaprio bought the film rights to the book in 2010 and previously set it up as a feature at Paramount with Scorsese to direct. In 2019, Hulu announced that it was developing the project as a big-budget series with DiCaprio and Scorsese executive producing.

Chicago TV fans will recall DiCaprio also executive produced the Apple TV+ series Shining Girls, starring Elisabeth Moss, which filmed in Chicago in 2021.

Bottom Line: Devil in the White City will not be heading into production anytime soon, but with ABC Signature and heavyweight executive producers DiCaprio and Scorcese remaining involved, the potential remains. But then again, networks have been talking about that potential for over a decade.

Be sure to check back here at SCREEN Magazine as this project continues to search for a home. You can also click right here to subscribe to our weekly email newsletter.

Photo Credits: Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorcese Photo both by Siebbi, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

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