Keanu Reeves is in talks to head to the World’s Fair in 1893.
Deadline understands that The Matrix star is in negotiations to star in Hulu’s series adaptation of The Devil In The White City, the big-budget take on Erik Larson’s 2003 book.
The Devil in the White City tells the true story of two men, an architect and a serial killer, whose fates were forever linked by The Chicago World’s Fair of 1893. It follows Daniel H. Burnham, a brilliant and fastidious architect racing to make his mark on the world and Henry H. Holmes, a handsome and cunning doctor who fashioned his own pharmaceutical “Murder Castle” on fair grounds – a palace built to seduce, torture and mutilate young women. The story takes the viewer on a tour of murder, romance and mystery in the gilded age.
One of the craziest things about this is that it would be Keanu's first major TV role EVER. You might be thinking "Oh well a lot of the top actors out there don't do T.V.". You may be right about that, but Keanu is NOT a top-tier actor. He is a humble dude who has seemingly just rode the flow that his career has taken him on his whole life. I'm just surprised that said flow has never lead him to any kind of TV role before. I think the reason that is changing is just that the balance of power between TV and Movies has been shifting like crazy over the last decade.
We've seen that you can get insanely good prestige series from basically every streaming platform that have the budget and talent to be something as great as the best movies. Normally, movie actors are afraid to take that leap because they think it's essentially below them and that it will effect their future movie work. Now, these series are so good that they are essentially resume boosters for actors trying to get better prestige movie roles. If you look just at Hulu, which is making this series, they are proof positive of that. 'The Great', 'Dopesick', 'The Handmaid's Tale', 'Ramy', 'Little Fires Everywhere', That' s 35 Emmy nominations and 17 Golden Globe nominations just with those 5 series combined.
Anyway, I think this series presents and opportunity for Keanu to flex what he's got outside of the blockbuster/action genre. The book won a crap ton of awards and looks pretty interesting based off of the summary above. Having a brush with one of the most infamous serial killers of all time should make for some interesting storytelling. Maybe that's because I still have 'Mindhunter' on my brain, though. In addition to the already highlighted Scorsese and DiCaprio on the back end, they also have some solid producers in Stacey Sher(involved in 5 Tarantino movies as well as Matilda, Erin Brockovich, and more), Rick Yorn(The Wolf of Wall Street, Boardwalk Empire, Gangs of New York) and Emma Koskoff(The Wolf of Wall Street, Silence, Joker, The Departed) and Jennifer Davisson(Richard Jewell, The Revenant).
I'm excited for this group and this subject matter, but definitely a little hesitant about this kind of role for Keanu.