Warner Bros. Pictures has acquired the film rights to Erik Larson’s non-fiction book “The Devil in the White City” reports Deadline.
Set against the backdrop of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, it tells the intertwining stories of fair architect Daniel H. Burnham and serial killer H.H. Holmes, a charming sociopath who used a hotel he built near the fairgrounds to lure victims.
Complete with gas chamber and crematorium, Holmes would murder his victims and strip their skeletons to sell for medical and scientific study. Holmes killed at least twenty-seven people, mostly young women, though some say the number was closer to nearly two hundred.
A film adaptation was previously setup in 2003 at Cruise/Wagner and then a few years later at Paramount. Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way picked up the project late last year and Warners acquired the rights from them.
DiCaprio is still attached to both produce and play Holmes in the film while Graham Moore has just been hired to adapt the script.