Director and executive producer Todd Field ( “Tár”) has left Hulu’s “Devil in the White City” series. This comes just days after star Keanu Reeves exited the series as well. The project is an adaptation of the Erik Larson novel of the same name. Reeves’ departure could be linked to his involvement in an upcoming “Constantine” sequel.
“Devil in the White City” will tell the true story of Daniel H. Burnham, a demanding but visionary architect, as he races to make his mark on history at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. He plans on doing so by working with Dr. H. H. Holmes. Holmes is America’s first modern serial killer, and the man behind the infamous ‘Murder Castle’ that was built in the shadow of the World’s Fair.
Before his departure on October 7th, Reeves was set to play Burnham. Earlier this week, the project reportedly started the search for a new director as well. Neither party nor Hulu has commented on either of these departures. But this is just the latest snag in this project’s seemingly endless development process.
“Devil in the White City” was first put into development by Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner via their Cruise/Wagner banner in a deal with Paramount. But that option lapsed all the way back in 2004. Paramount reacquired the film rights again in 2007, and had Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher attached to produce. In 2010, Leonardo DiCaprio‘s Appian Way acquired the rights to the novel, with plans to adapt it as a film where he would play Holmes. Martin Scorsese became attached to direct in 2015, with Billy Ray (“Terminator: Dark Fate”) working on the script. A limited tv series was put into development by Hulu in 2019. Official orders for a series were given in August of 2022.
Currently, the executive producers of the series are Martin Scorsese, Rick Yorn, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Jennifer Davisson of Appian Way. As well as Stacey Sher, Sam Shaw, Lila Byock, and Mark Lafferty. Shaw will also be serving as the showrunner, and is adapting the book for the screen.
Stay tuned to Nerdbot for more news on “Devil in the White City” as it develops.