The long road to bring The Devil in the White City to the screen just got a little longer.
Keanu Reeves has left the Hulu and Paramount TV project, which would have marked his first major role on American television, EW has confirmed. No reason for his departure was given, and a representative for the actor did not immediately respond to EW's request for comment.
The official logline states that the series, which is based on Erik Larson's 2003 book of the same name, tells the true story of Daniel H. Burnham, "a demanding but visionary architect who races to make his mark on history with the 1893 Chicago World's Fair," and Dr. H. H. Holmes, "America's first modern serial killer and the man behind the notorious 'Murder Castle' built in the Fair's shadow."
Reeves was tapped to play Burnham. A casting announcement for Holmes has not yet been made.
Steve Jennings/Getty Images Keanu Reeves
Writers, actors, and directors have been trying to adapt Larson's book for years. In 2019, Hulu's senior vice president of originals, Craig Erwich, announced that The Devil in the White City would be coming to Hulu as a television series for Paramount TV. Before that, the story had been in development as a film, with Leonardo DiCaprio, who acquired the rights in 2010, and Martin Scorsese, who joined to direct in 2015, on board. DiCaprio was set to play the role of the serial killer. The duo are now serving as executive producers on the series, but it's unclear if DiCaprio will play a role beyond that.
Before DiCaprio and Scorsese's attempts to get the project off the ground, Tom Cruise acquired the rights to the nonfiction book in 2003, but his options lapsed in 2004. Paramount reacquired the film rights in 2007.
Variety was the first to report the news of Reeves' departure. Representatives for Hulu and Paramount TV declined to comment.
Sign up for Entertainment Weekly's free daily newsletter to get breaking TV news, exclusive first looks, recaps, reviews, interviews with your favorite stars, and more.