Keanu Reeves has never worked with Martin Scorsese, beyond the two chatting in 2012’s celluloid-vs.-digital documentary Side by Side. That was about to change, sort of: The beloved actor was set to be one of the leads in the long-in-the-works adaptation of The Devil in the White City, Erik Larson’s bestselling non-fiction tome from 2003, which is being executive produced by Scorsese and his frequent collaborator Leonardo DiCaprio. Alas, this union was not to be.
As per Deadline, Reeves has suddenly departed the adaptation, which is slated to be a limited series for Hulu. A reason has yet to be given. Perhaps he’s a little busy, what with him returning as nicotine-addicted occult detective John Constantine. It would have also been Reeves’ first stint leading a TV series.
Whatever the reason, it’s yet another setback for The Devil in the White City, which has had quite the epic journey to the screen. Tom Cruise was the first to show interest, but his attempt floundered in 2004. DiCaprio snatched up the rights in 2010, with Scorsese slated to direct. That also fell through, but the director and actor have stayed on as executive producers.
The Devil in the White City tells of two historical figures: David H. Burnham, a visionary architect who made his name at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, and Dr. H. H. Holmes, who is considered the first serial killer. Reeves was to play Burnham. The Hulu adaptation is still on, with a prospective release in 2024.