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A Brief Timeline of Devil in the White City’s Film Gridlock

Hollywood has played a dragged-out game of hot potato with adapting the film, which is finally heading to Hulu as a series.

Photos: (Holmes) Chicago History Museum/Getty Images; (Dicaprio) Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times; (Scorsese) Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

2003Erik Larson’s acclaimed book about serial killer H.H. Holmes and his “murder castle” near the 1893 world’s fair in Chicago is published. Tom Cruise quickly snatches up the film rights and gets Kathryn Bigelow to direct.

2007Cruise’s contract expires (the second time since 2004).

2008Eric Roth (Forrest Gump) is rumored to have written a screenplay that interests director David Fincher, but the project apparently fizzles.

2010Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way Productions acquires the film rights.

2011Warner Bros. hops onto the project, as does screenwriter Graham Moore (The Imitation Game).

2015Frequent DiCaprio collaborator Martin Scorsese joins as director and the project moves to Paramount Pictures. Billy Ray (The Hunger Games) steps in to write the script.

February 2019Surprise! The adaptation heads to Hulu as a series, with DiCaprio and Scorsese executive producing.

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