Hmm…does that guy in the header picture look like this guy?
Not exactly but hey, here in America we like our serial killer dramatizations to feature pretty boys (see Badlands, Natural Born Killers, American Psycho). So why not Leo DiCaprio? Of course being Leo, he’s taking on the serious role of our first real serial killer, Dr. Henry Howard Holmes (aka Herman Webster Mudgett). According to Wikipedia, Holmes had a hotel constructed for the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and at that hotel he killed at least 27 people by various means. The number of people he killed over his lifetime could be anywhere from 27 to 200, but the labyrinthian “Murder Castle” he designed was his hotbed. (Click here to read the 1895 Chicago Tribune article comparing Holmes to Bluebeard and see a diagram of the hotel.) In 2003, author Erik Larson wrote a factual account, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America of Holmes and World’s Fair architect, Daniel H. Burnham; this upcoming film (which was just acquired by DiCaprio’s production company) is based on that book.
Though this is new territory for DiCaprio, I have no trouble seeing his beguiling countenance drawing in victims and gassing, suffocating, chopping up or burning them. He has that slightly over-controlled, meticulous aura about him and while that may only be his acting persona, it will suit him well for this role.
The Devil in the White City has yet to find a writer and director, so we have plenty of time to read the book and salivate over the idea of DiCaprio as a slick, controlled killer.