Hulu is reportedly adapting The Devil In The White City into a series, and everything that’s been announced about this upcoming series just has me more and more excited. And, yes, I recognize that my proclivity for true crime drama is probably unsettling on some level. But come on…
As one might expect, the series is expected to be an adaptation of The Devil In The White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson. The novel tells the stories of Daniel Burnham, who was the architect of the 1893 World’s Fair, and H. H. Holmes (aka Herman Webster Mudgett), known as “America’s first serial killer.” The stories of these two men are irrevocably intertwined, as Holmes used the backdrop of the fair to lure an untold number of victims (estimates range between 20 and 200) to his “Murder Castle.”
Those unfamiliar with Holmes’s story may think the term “Murder Castle” is rather melodramatic, but it’s pretty fitting. Holmes conceived of the building’s floorplan himself, and he had it built using a series of contractors and laborers, so that no one person (other than himself, of course) was familiar with the entire structure. The ground floor hosted his pharmacy, where he also found victims in the form of former employees/cast aside mistresses. The upper levels hosted hotel rooms, but there were also booby traps and chutes to transport unwitting victims to the basement, where he would torture and kill his prey. And occasionally prepare their skeletons for sale.
With the number of people who flocked to the city to attend the world’s fair, Holmes had his pick of victims. And it is for that reason that we will likely never know how many victims can be attributed to his name. The Devil In The White City highlights both sides of the coin – the hope and optimism that went into the conception and creation of the World’s Fair, and the terrifying darkness underneath.
Our excitement is in no way diminished by the names reportedly attached to the project: Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese will be executive producers on the project, and I’m betting DiCaprio will step in front of the camera as well. (If I had to guess, I suspect he might way to play Holmes.) It’s rumored that Keanu Reeves is also in negotiations to star in series, presumably as architect Burnham.
There’s no word yet on when we can expect Hulu to air this adaptation, but we’re already looking forward to it.
Are you excited to check out an adaptation of The Devil In The White City? Let us know in the comments below!