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That was fast.
Sources say the Disney-backed streamer is already searching for a replacement star to lead the drama, which has been in various stages of development for more than a decade. Reps for Hulu and Reeves declined to comment.
Hulu officially ordered Devil in the White City in early August, with Reeves closing a deal to star in the series that would have marked his largest TV commitment to date.
The show has been in the works for more than a decade, including a stint when it was envisioned as a feature film, with Sam Shaw (Hulu’s Castle Rock) on board as writer, showrunner and exec producer. DiCaprio and his Appian Way partner, Jennifer Davisson, exec produce alongside Scorsese. The latter was previously set to direct the feature film take that had been set up at Paramount Pictures with DiCaprio formerly set to star. Reeves — following months of dealmaking — was attached to star and exec produce the series that landed at Hulu for development in 2019. Todd Field is on board to direct the crime drama, which is now a co-production between Paramount Television Studios and Disney’s ABC Signature. Paramount Pictures won the rights to the novel following a massive bidding war in 2015, when Billy Ray was on board to pen the scripts.
Based on Erik Larson’s novel, Devil revolves around Daniel H. Burnham (the role formerly to have been played by Reeves), 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. (DiCaprio is not expected to have an onscreen role as of press time.)
Rick Yorn, Stacey Sher, Field and Mark Lafferty also exec produce the series. A formal episode count has not yet been determined. Scorsese and DiCaprio have previously teamed for features Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed, Shutter Island and The Wolf of Wall Street. The frequent collaborators had previously developed TV takes on Gangs of New York and Shutter Island, though neither moved beyond the script stage. DiCaprio, who currently has a film and TV deal at Apple, exec produces the Apple series Shining Girls and has the $200 million feature Killers of the Flower Moon set to debut on the streamer next year.
THR’s sibling site Variety was first to report Reeves’ exit.
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