Devil in the White City is officially dead on Hulu.
Sources say the Disney-backed streamer is no longer moving forward with the limited series which had been in various stages of development for over a decade. However, sources say ABC Signature producers remain committed to the drama and will pick up the show at new outlets.
The news comes months after frontman Keanu Reeves and director Todd Field (Tar) dropped the drama of Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Sources say Hulu and Disney’s Paramount Television Studios and ABC Signature, who were on board together to produce the series, had been close to deals with the bear star Jeremy Allen White and Jude Law and director Matt Ross for the project. Sources say ABC Signature is still in talks with White, Law and director Ross for the series, although it’s unclear if they’ll be shutting down given that Devil does not currently have a home.
Devil has been in the works for over a decade, including a stint when it was considered a feature, starring Sam Shaw (Hulu’s stone castle) on board as writer, showrunner and executive producer. DiCaprio and his Appian Way partner Jennifer Davisson produce alongside Scorsese. The latter was previously to shoot the feature film which had been set up at Paramount Pictures with DiCaprio previously starring.
Reeves – after months of negotiation – was attached to star and executive produce the series which landed at Hulu for development in 2019 and was officially picked up to series last year. Field was on board to direct the crime drama, which eventually became a co-production between Paramount Television Studios and Disney’s ABC Signature. Paramount Pictures won the rights to the novel following a massive bidding war in 2015, when Billy Ray was on board to write the scripts. Field left three days after Reeves quit the show.
Based on the novel by Erik Larson, Devil revolved around Daniel H. Burnham (the role once played by Reeves), a demanding but visionary architect who races to make history with the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893, and Dr. H. H. Holmes, the first modern serial killer of America and the man behind the famous “Murder Castle” built in the shadow of the fair.
Rick Yorn, Stacey Sher and Mark Lafferty are also producing the series. An official episode count has yet to be determined. Scorsese and DiCaprio have already teamed up for features Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed, Shutter Island And The wolf of Wall Street. Frequent collaborators had previously developed TV outlets on New York Gangs And shutter island, though neither made it past the script stage. DiCaprio currently has a film and television contract at Apple where he produced the Apple series shiny girls.
Updated at 5:14 p.m.: This story has been updated to reflect that Jeremy Allen White, Jude Law and director Matt Ross are still in talks with the board. Devil.