Keanu Reeves will play Daniel H. Burnham in the TV adaptation of America’s Scariest Real-Life Serial Killer Cases
Keanu Reeves will star in Hulu’s upcoming adaptation of Erik Larson’s Devil in the White City, marking the actor’s first major role on American television. The news has fans excited to witness the ‘John Wick’ star make his television debut with one of America’s creepiest real-life serial killer cases.
The streaming platform announced a limited series for the drama on Thursday, July 4 at the TV Critics Association virtual press tour. The series is slated to premiere in 2024, with the eight episodes available on Hulu. Reeves will also serve as executive producer.
Serial Killer HH Holmes: What We Know
The Devil in the White City is a true crime story about architect Daniel H. Burnham who had lofty plans to make a name for himself at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. The book also focuses on Dr. HH Holmes, America’s first modern day serial killer who built a “Murder Castle” hotel using booby traps and other murder tactics.
Reeves will play Daniel H. Burnham, an architect who is “trying to make his mark on history” with his ideas for the fair. The second key figure, that of convicted murderer Dr. HH Holmes, has yet to be cast, according to the streaming site. Also executive producing are Mark Lafferty, Todd Field, Sam Shaw, Stacey Sher, Jennifer Davisson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Rick Yorn and Martin Scorsese. Stacey Sher is the showrunner and writer, while Todd Field is the director.
Erik Larson’s novel-like description of the World’s Columbian Exposition, actually known as the World’s Columbian Exposition, was published in 2003. The fair was known as the White City because of the hue of several of its building envelopes. Herman Webster Mudgett, as Sherlock Holmes, was implicated in and confessed to a series of murders. He was only tried and sentenced to death for one crime, for which he was killed in 1896.
Various Hollywood actors were interested in the work, and DiCaprio bought the rights in 2010 to portray Holmes in a theatrical adaptation. Scorsese is said to be in talks to direct.
dr “Heinous” HH Holmes was not satisfied with merely dismembering or suffocating victims. He also profited from his victims’ bones by polishing them and selling them to medical schools. Holmes had no limits: he murdered women, children, “friends”, strangers and employees. But Holmes’ main claim to fame was establishing a real Bates Motel. Holmes built a large building with shops on the ground floor and an inn for tourists on the upper floors. But inside, he set up fake tunnels, trapdoors, and peepholes to hunt down his visitors. He would spy on them from their rooms and kidnap selected “guests” to his basement hideout to commit gruesome murders.
To explain his erroneous life, HH Holmes wrote these terrifying words: “I was born with the devil in me. I could not help the fact that I was a murderer any more than the poet can help the inspiration to sing. I was born with the evil who stood as my sponsor by the bed where I was brought into the world and has been with me ever since…”
Now that Reeves has been cast in the lead, fans are excited to see him play the “good man” on the show. One fan wrote: “Scorsese brings ‘The Devil in the White City’ to the small screen! We expect a great show based on a great novel. Keanu Reeves is cast as Daniel Burnham. I’m glad he’s going to be the good guy.”
Speaking about Reeves not playing the serial killer, one fan tweeted, “I’m glad he’s not playing Holmes. This will no doubt cover the revised history of Holmes murdering tons of people, although the fact is that more than half the murders he confessed to were people who were still alive, and he probably has fewer than half a dozen people killed. Another delighted fan tweeted, “Me and my Oomfs on our way to check out The Devil in The White City starring Keanu Reeves.”
Another fan questioned Reeves’ obsession with the genre: “From ‘The Devil’s Advocate’ to ‘Constantine’ to ‘Devil in the White City,’ what is Keanu Reeves’ obsession with the devil?
Aside from that, casting fans are also excited to see the story come to the big screen: “They’re doing a Devil in the White City series starring Keanu Reeves. Give me all the murder and deepest architectural descriptions.”
Some fans who were hoping to see DiCaprio in the cast are still smitten with Reeves: “Yeah!! Excellent book. I thought Leonardo DiCaprio would do the movie years ago.
The eight-episode series is set to premiere in 2024, with filming set to begin next year.