The power duo behind "The Departed" and "The Wolf of Wall Street" are at it again.
Paramount won a bidding war to acquire the rights to the Erik Larson book "The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness At the Fair That Changed America." The book is about one of the most prolific serial killers in Chicago history -- DiCaprio will play the murderer in the movie adaption and Scorsese will direct.
In a big auction with five studios fighting over the rights, Paramount won the deal with DiCaprio and Scorsese. DiCaprio has wanted this role for a long time, but Warner Bros. let the rights to the movie lapse a month ago, starting a bidding war that made DiCaprio's future uncertain. With some help from writer Billy Ray, DiCaprio and Scorsese got Paramount on a seven-figure commitment.
DiCaprio will play Dr. HH Holmes, a 19th century serial killer who conned, murdered and manipulated his way around Chicago when the city was overwhelmed with hosting the World's Fair of 1893. Holmes may have murdered anywhere from 27 to 200 people at The World's Fair Hotel, his own private torture castle complete with soundproof vaults, gas chambers and dissection rooms. Holmes would murder his victims and sell their skeletons for medical and scientific study.
It's a stretch for DeCaprio to play a murderous villain, but controversial roles have worked for him before. His performances in "Django Unchained" and "The Wolf of Wall Street" are wildly beloved, yet somehow DeCaprio has never won an Oscar.
Maybe "The Devil in the White City" will win DiCaprio the award he deserves.
There is no release date, but Paramount revealed DiCaprio, Jennifer Davidson, Stacey Sher, Emma Tillinger Koskoff and Scorsese will produce the film. The whole project is being overseen by Elizabeth Raposo.