Martin Scorsese has previous expressed Sympathy For The Devil mainly through liberal use of Rolling Stones tracks, or a with a crafty rethink of Satan in The Last Temptation of Christ. Now he’s allowing Leonardo DiCaprio to introduce himself as a man of wealth and taste, behind whose trappings murderous motives and madness are hidden.
Deadline reports that Scorsese and DiCaprio will reteam on The Devil In The White City, with Captain Phillips scribe Billy Ray writing a script that sparked a five studio bidding war. Paramount reigned triumphant, winning the rights to adapt Eric Larson’s book of the same name.
Based on a macabre true story, DiCaprio will play Dr. HH Holmes, one of the first recorded serial killers of the modern era. Holmes murdered between 27 and 200 people, most of them young single women, in his specially constructed hotel to house visitors for Chicago’s 1893 World Fair. The devious doctor would charm his victims into his “murder castle,” where gas chambers, crematoria and dissecting tables in place of en-suite bathrooms, continental breakfasts and minibars, with exceedingly late “checkout for good” times for your convenience.
It is easy to see why DiCaprio has aggressively pursued the role for years, and after previous iterations with such diverse talent as David Fincher, Kathryn Bigelow and The Imitation Game screenwriter Graham Moore involved at various stages, it is his fruitful partnership with Scorsese that convinced Hollywood to finally give it the green light. It will mark the duo’s sixth feature collaboration, and while it shares a century with their first, Gangs of New York, the mean streets of Chicago are likely to produce a quite different tale. After all, the Devil is in the details.