Leonardo DiCaprio’s Devil In The White City Series Just Suffered A Major Setback

Director Todd Fields has left Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese's adaptation of Devil in the White City.

By Chad Langen | Published

A few days back, it was announced that Keanu Reeves had departed the Hulu adaptation of The Devil in the White City, which was completely unexpected considering the star had landed a headlining role in the forthcoming series just two months ago. Now, according to Collider, the show, which is being produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin Scorsese, Rick Yorn and Jennifer Davisson, has suffered another loss following reports that Todd Fields, who was to serve as executive producer and director, has also left the project.

Neither reps for the streamer nor Leonardo DiCaprio has yet to issue a statement in regard to Fields’ departure, but according to Variety, the hunt is on for a new director.

It was exciting news when it came out that Leonardo DiCaprio would be adapting this story. The Devil in the White City is a true crime story that follows Daniel H. Burnham, a demanding but visionary architect who sets out on a mission to make his historical mark with the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, and Dr. H.H. Holmes, America’s first modern serial killer, who built the infamous “Murder Castle” hotel in the Fair’s shadow.

Hulu’s upcoming series is an adaptation of the 2003 book of the same name by author Erik Larson, which won an Edgar Award for best fact-crime writing, and was a finalist for a National Book Award. Leonardo DiCaprio acquired the film rights in 2010, with the project originally set up as a motion picture.

Before Hulu began developing The Devil in the White City as a high-profile limited series, the project was being developed as a film by Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner through their Cruise/Wagner banner, with Leonardo DiCaprio set to star and Martin Scorsese attached to direct.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Scorsese have collaborated previously on multiple projects, including the Oscar-winning crime flick The Departed, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Shutter Island. The pair has teamed up once again for next year’s thriller, Killers of the Flower Moon, which is currently in post-production.

Todd Fields, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Martin Scorsese would have been a powerhouse of creative forces considering the top-notch work each of them has delivered over the years. Fields recently wrote and directed the acclaimed drama Tár starring Cate Blanchett, which landed the actress an award for Best Actress at this year’s Venice Film Festival. It would have been reasonable to think that this Leonardo DiCaprio would and can head to the awards podiums as well.

The Devil in the White City is currently without a release date, and following Keanu Reeves’ exit, the project is also without a cast. Reeves was set to portray Daniel H. Burnham, but now the hunt is on to not only find a replacement for that character, but also for somebody to take on the role of Dr. H.H. Holmes. Now, with the recent departure of Todd Fields as director, it looks like Hulu, Leonardo DiCaprio and gang have their hands full, and it’s going to take some serious effort to get the project back on track.