After the news broke a couple of days ago that Keanu Reeves had dropped out, the long-gestating Devil in the White City TV series has now lost its prestigious director, Todd Field. Field is currently enjoying widespread critical acclaim and Oscar buzz for his new movie Tár, starring Cate Blanchett.
Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio are executive producing Devil in the White City for Hulu, which officially went into development in 2019. They had tried to get it off the ground before that in various incarnations, including a movie. DiCaprio bought the film rights to the book in 2010, and Scorsese was doing to direct the movie. The TV version of the project went to series order in August 2022, with Keanu Reeves set to star and Field to direct.
But in another blow to the seemingly cursed adaptation, Reeves and now Field have both dropped out, as revealed by Variety. The Devil in the White City is a very well-respected book based on the real-life serial killer HH Holmes, and the real-life architect Daniel Burnham. It imagines a fictional scenario in which their lives interweave, surrounding the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago.
The Devil in the White City is a book, like Donna Tartt’s Secret History, that readers have long been waiting for an adaptation of. A television series would have actually suited the novel better, as it’s nearly 450 pages and divided into four parts.
Todd Field is an extremely choosy director, who made the very well-received drama movies In the Bedroom in 2001, and Little Children in 2006. Tár is his first movie in over 15 years. It was somewhat surprising, therefore, that he was attached to this television production.
While we wait to find out if Devil in the White City is still going ahead at Hulu, and who will be starring and directing, check out our guide to the best drama series.