After working together on Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed, Shutter Island and, most recently, one of the decade’s best films thus far, The Wolf Of Wall Street, Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese are set to reteam for a sixth time. They recently took a break from collaborating for their latest respective projects, but with the former now finally wrapped on The Revenant and the director in the editing bay on Silence, it’s now reported they are coming together for an adaptation of The Devil in the White City.
Based on Erik Larson‘s book The Devil In The White City: Murder, Magic And Madness At The Fair That Changed America and adapted by Billy Ray (Breach, Captain Phillips, The Secret in Their Eyes remake), the project has been in DiCaprio’s lap for at least half-a-decade, but has gained new traction. The book’s dark and twisted events involve the chronicling Dr. HH Holmes, a man who “preyed on anywhere from 27 to 200 people at a time when the city of Chicago was enthralled with hosting the World’s Fair of 1893.” Through the building of The World’s Fair Hotel, Holmes “used charm and guile to lure guests into what became known as a ‘murder castle,'” which featured a gas chamber, crematorium and a dissecting table,” the lattermost of which would be used for the purpose of obtaining and selling skeletons.
Deadline reports that Paramount has now won a bidding war over Universal, Fox, and others for the project that is said to be the next film for both DiCaprio and Scorsese. While it’s been kicking around for a while, this newfound interest has to do with a fresh take the creative team delivered, one that better interlaces the main characters, “the producer/architect of the World’s Fair, and the man who works for him and turned out to be a mass murderer.”
With DiCaprio playing the killer, there’s no word yet on who’ll play the other main character, but it sounds like delightfully dark material that Scorsese could do wonders with. As we wait to see if this will truly be their next project (R.I.P. The Irishman?), catch up on the book here and a talk with the author discussing it below. Meanwhile, Scorsese’s short film The Audition with DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, and Brad Pitt will premiere at Venice.
What do you think of Scorsese and DiCaprio’s next team-up? Would you recommend the book?