Variety has learnt exclusively from sources that Keanu Reeves will no longer play the title role in the “The Devil in the White City” Hulu series adaption.
Initially placed into production at Hulu in 2019, the program received a formal order to series at the streaming service in August 2022. It is based on Erik Larson’s book of the same name.
The program “tells the true story of Dr. H. H. Holmes, America’s first modern serial killer and the man behind the notorious “Murder Castle” built in the Fair’s shadow, and Daniel H. Burnham, a demanding but visionary architect who races to make his mark on history with the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.”
Reeves was chosen to play Burnham in what would have been his first significant television role in the United States, but a replacement is currently being sought. At the time this article was published, Holmes had not yet found a cast.
Hulu representatives declined to respond. Variety’s request for comment was not immediately answered by Reeves’ representatives.
The series’ executive producers are Martin Scorsese, Rick Yorn, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Davisson of Appian Way, Stacey Sher, Sam Shaw, and Mark Lafferty. Sam Shaw, who will also serve as the showrunner and executive producer, is adapting the book for the big screen alongside Lila Byock. In collaboration with Paramount Television Studios, ABC Signature will produce.
In the lengthy process of the book’s production, this chapter is the most recent. In 2010, DiCaprio bought the rights with the intention of turning it into a movie in which he would play Sherlock Holmes. Billy Ray was supposed to write the script when Scorsese signed up to helm in 2015. Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner placed it in development in Hollywood for the first time under their Cruise/Wagner banner through the shingle’s agreement with Paramount, but the option expired in 2004. In 2007, Paramount repurchased the picture rights and arranged for Michael Shamberg and Sher to serve as producers.