Leonardo DiCaprio Is A Serial Killer In ‘Devil In The White City’

Published 4 years ago by

Devil in the White City Leonardo DiCaprio Leonardo DiCaprio Is A Serial Killer In Devil In The White City

One could argue that Leonardo DiCaprio has yet to play a truly villainous character. The star of Inception has finally found a serial killer to challenge his skills. DiCaprio will portray HH Holmes in an adaptation of The Devil in the White City.

Erik Larson’s non-fiction book tells the legendary story of a serial killer who terrorized Chicago’s World Fair of 1893. Before his death in 1896, Holmes admitted to a number of murders. His charm helped bring countless women into what he called The World’s Fair Hotel – eventually known as the murder castle. The exact total for his victim count has varied from 27 to 200 since then.

Leonardo DiCaprio is the perfect fit for this role. His combination of charm and terror should be seamless and if he plays his cards right, this could be to DiCaprio’s career what Once Upon A Time In The West was to Henry Fonda’s. For the latter, director Sergio Leone convinced Fonda to take the role of a villain because it would shock the world to see a man known for his heroic characters on the other side.

HH Holmes Devil in the White City Leonardo DiCaprio Leonardo DiCaprio Is A Serial Killer In Devil In The White City

Leonardo DiCaprio will sport a massive mustache as HH Holmes (pictured above)

DiCaprio’s recent rush of roles with inner torment continues with Devil in the White City. It takes the endless dedication of a performer like DiCaprio to truly pull of these roles. For instance, whatever Vince Vaughn lacked as Norman Bates in Psycho, DiCaprio is more than able to replace with this serial killer.

Beyond DiCaprio, the overall tale of HH Holmes is fascinating. Appian Way and Double Features will distribute the film after a flurry of praise for the novel. Executives for both companies shared some thoughts on the film in a statement via Deadline.

“[The book is] truly a one-of-its-kind American story about our nation’s first serial killer. We’re exited to bring it to the big screen.”

“This is a big, entertaining thriller in an incredible setting that will appeal to worldwide audience.”

In addition, Chicago will be featured prominently with this film. We’ve seen the city’s dark side with a few gangster movies over the years, but this should shed new light (or darkness) on the Windy City. It is as much about a single man as it is about the fear he spread through one of the most popular events in the world at the turn of the 20th century.

Inception production still 9 Leonardo DiCaprio Is A Serial Killer In Devil In The White City

"Beware of the dark side. Anger, fear, aggression; the dark side of the Force are they."

But in the end, it is a film about HH Holmes’ infamous murders and again, DiCaprio has yet to play a truly villainous character. Mind you, morally questionable characters are not really villainous. The closest DiCaprio ever came to playing a villain in his career was Man in the Iron Mask. Needless to say, he needs a better bad guy.

Some would say J. Edgar Hoover is close. DiCaprio will portray the FBI director in Clint Eastwood’s upcoming biopic Hoover.

Regardless, Devil In The White City is exciting in every possible way. It has been shuffled around Hollywood for a few years now, even skimming through Tom Cruise’s radar during the book’s initial popularity. DiCaprio is a fantastic choice and his schedule over the next few years should churn out a much-deserved Oscar soon enough.

What do you think of DiCaprio as HH Holmes? Discuss the choice and the book itself in the comments section below.

Source: Deadline

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  1. Although Leo is my favorite actor, I actually think that James Marsden would be a better Holmes

  2. perfect time to tackle this film—–this would be a smash film—-we’re ready for this one—lol

  3. This, with the Chicago worlds fair intertwined has the potential to be more than a typical Jack the Ripper slasher movie. The backdrop of Chicago in it’s prime with the best and worst elements of human capacity could make this movie a classic. I think this will be Leo’s role of a lifetime. Mix this with Burnham’s character and the detective that brought down Holmes. I can’t wait.

  4. I wish he would make this a priority – I am really excited about this!

  5. I agree with the person who said the Fair is the real star of the show, with amazing inventions and huge ambition to be built during a depression of sorts. The reason Holmes could do what he did was partly because of the fair. That said, Holmes would have been a killer regardless of where he settled.
    Leo could pull off the part. The fair needs to be the gorgeous back drop. The Black City (Chicago proper) is a great co-star. What a great movie this could be! Can’t wait.

  6. I would have preferred an unknown to play H.H. Holmes (t/n Herman Webster Mudgett) and especially so given the horrific nature of most of Mudgett’s crimes. Mudgett was an extraordinary murderer, but DiCaprio is not an extraordinary actor. I was terribly disappointed and outraged by Titanic; Hollywood took a true-life tragedy, and superimposed a silly, improbable love story onto it. The film was an affront to the hundreds who died that night in 1912.

  7. The book was an incredible, inspiring (the creation of the Expo), and chilling (Holmes). As with other Larson books, there is also heaps of fascinating history contained therein. I hope the movie does it some justice. As for Leo not having played a true villain, he was a pretty bad guy in Django Unchained, to say the least. That slave owner, although fictional, was a conglomerate of real people. And some sociopathic plantation owners probably killed more people than Holmes.

    • Check the date, this was written years ago, long before Django. for reference, in the article they talk about J. Edgar being an upcoming film.

  8. C’mon Hollywood. Titus Welliver from Gone Baby Gone and The Town is a dead ringer ( no pun) for Holmes and the resemblance would add an exponential creep factor.

  9. This film should be very interesting, as a lot of people have never heard of H.H. Holmes and his murder castle. I think Leonardo DiCaprio will be good in it, although I don;t think the part should be played with too much emphasis on pained or distressed facial expression. Personally I think Eddie Marsan would play this part well.

    • Marsan has a bit of an odd look to him and he doesn’t have that charm that Di Caprio can deliver. we have to remember how charming Holmes was thought to have been, i mean, this guy swindled creditors out of thousands and very few of them seemed to mind. anyone playing holmes has to be a seriously charismatic actor.

  10. I’ve always enjoyed Dicaprio’s work but I think it’s time we see the scary seductive, twisted & alluring side of Leo. The story is intriguing & I think we’re going to see a side of Leo we couldn’t even comprehend.

  11. Will the film in Indianapolis? I live on the street where he lived and hid bodies. He also got caught from this house. Will they film here does anyone know please get back at me ASAP.

    • he was arrested in Boston…