Leonardo DiCaprio to Portray 19th Century Serial Killer

Leonardo DiCaprio has signed on to star in the upcoming film based on Erik Larson’s 2003 novel The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair That Changed America.

DiCaprio will portray Herman Webster Mudgett (who also went by H. H. Holmes), a serial killer who lured his victims to a hotel he built during the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. Dubbed the “Murdle Castle,” this twisted place saw the deaths of at least 27 people that Mudgett confessed to and possibly as many as 200.

According to EW, Tom Cruise was initially attached to play Mudgett in Devil in the White City but DiCaprio developed his own rival project based on the character. Ultimately DiCaprio purchased the rights to the book and put the Cruise project to rest.

There’s no word yet on when Devil in the White City is expected to move into production.

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