‘Devil in the White City’ Ordered to Series at Hulu, Keanu Reeves to Star

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The long-gestating adaptation of “Devil in the White City” is officially ordered to series at Hulu with Keanu Reeves set to star in one of the lead roles, Variety has learned.

The series is based on the book of the same name by Erik Larson. It tells the true story of Daniel H. Burnham (Reeves), 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. News comes as Hulu meets reporters virtually on Thursday for its portion of the TV Critics Association press tour.

Martin Scorsese, Rick Yorn, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson of Appian Way, Stacey Sher, Sam Shaw, and Mark Lafferty serve as executive producers on the series. Reeves will executive produce in addition to starring. Sam Shaw is adapting the book for the screen and will serve as showrunner and executive producer. Todd Field is attached to direct and executive produce. ABC Signature will produce in association with Paramount Television Studios.

This will mark Reeves’ first major American television role. He starred in a number of TV films early in his career and also appeared in the Swedish-American web series “Swedish Dicks.” He is primarily known for his work in film franchises like “The Matrix,” “John Wick,” and “Bill & Ted.” He is also known for starring in features such as “Speed,” “Point Break,” “My Own Private Idaho,” “Constantine,” and “The Day the Earth Stood Still.”

This is the latest chapter in the long development history of the book. DiCaprio acquired the rights in 2010 with plans to adapt it as a film in which he would star as Holmes. 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 Sher. Hulu announced they were developing it as a series in 2019, with Reeves being reported to be in negotiations for a lead role in the show in January 2022.

Field is repped by CAA, LBI Entertainment, and attorney Stuart Rosenthal at Goodman Genow. Shaw is repped by CAA and  Jackoway Tyerman. Reeves is repped by WME and Sugar23. Lafferty is repped by CAA and Yorn Levine.