The Devil in the White City: Keanu Reeves Reportedly Exits Hulu Series

Wow, what a difference two months make! Back in August, it was announced that Keanu Reeves (The Matrix Resurrections, John Wick 4) had officially joined the cast of Hulu's series adaptation of Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America, with the project receiving an official green light from the streaming service. That's no longer the case, with Variety reporting exclusively from sources that Reeves has departed the series. The streaming series take on the highly-acclaimed historical non-fiction work would've marked Reeves' first major U.S. TV role. Hulu's adaptation tells the true story of two men, an architect and a serial killer, whose fates were forever linked by The Chicago World's Fair of 1893. It follows Daniel H. Burnham, a brilliant and fastidious architect racing to make his mark on the world, and Henry H. Holmes, a handsome and cunning doctor who fashioned his own pharmaceutical "Murder Castle" on the fairgrounds – a palace built to seduce, torture and mutilate young women. The story takes the viewer on a tour of murder, romance, and mystery in the gilded age. Reeves was set for the role of Burnham, with a search underway for a replacement (with reps for Reeves and the streamer not commenting).

devil in the white city
Images: Warner Bros. (Keanu Reeves)/Amazon (The Devil in the White City)

Originally published in 2003 by Crown Publishing Group, here's a look at the overview for Larson's historical non-fiction book The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America:

"Two men, each handsome and unusually adept at his chosen work, embodied an element of the great dynamic that characterized America's rush toward the twentieth century. The architect was Daniel Hudson Burnham, the fair's brilliant director of works and the builder of many of the country's most important structures, including the Flatiron Building in New York and Union Station in Washington, D.C. The murderer was Henry H. Holmes, a young doctor who, in a malign parody of the White City, built his 'World's Fair Hotel' just west of the fairgrounds—a torture palace complete with dissection table, gas chamber, and 3,000-degree crematorium.

Burnham overcame tremendous obstacles and tragedies as he organized the talents of Frederick Law Olmsted, Charles McKim, Louis Sullivan, and others to transform swampy Jackson Park into the White City, while Holmes used the attraction of the great fair and his own satanic charms to lure scores of young women to their deaths. What makes the story all the more chilling is that Holmes really lived, walking the grounds of that dream city by the lake."

Martin Scorsese, Rick Yorn, Leonardo DiCaprio & Jennifer Davisson (Appian Way), Stacey Sher, Sam Shaw, Todd Field, and Mark Lafferty are set to executive produce. Shaw is set to write and serve as showrunner, with Field directing.

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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