The novel The Devil in The White City written by Erik Larson is being turned into a movie that will be directed by Martin Scorsese. The notorious Leonardo DiCaprio will star in the film as the charming H.H Holmes.
Leonardo DiCaprio is an excellent choice for H.H Holmes. DiCaprio’s ability to embody any character he is playing is a critical virtue for this role. Larson describes Holmes with characteristics such as “He walked with confidence and dressed well, conjuring an impression of wealth and achievement…He had dark hair and striking blue eyes… ‘They are blue. Great murderers, like great men in other walks of activity, have blue eyes”(35).
Daniel Burnham is the architect that was in charge of building the World’s Fair along with John Root. Jude Law would be an excellent casting choice for Burnham. The chemistry has to be right between Burnham and Root, and by choosing this actor, this can be easily achieved. As Larson states “Burnham was said to be the business genius of his firm, Root the artist”(53).
John Root is side by side with Daniel Burnham. Larson describes Root as “‘His conversational powers were extraordinary,’ a friend said. ‘ There seemed to be no subject which he had not investigated and in which he was not profoundly learned.’ He had a sly sense of humor” (27). This would be perfectly portrayed by Tom Hardy.
One of the important factors of any fair would be the Ferris Wheel. This was made possible by George Ferris. Ferris is described as “At one table sat a thirty-three-years-old engineer from Pittsburgh who ran a steel-inspection company that had branch offices in New York and Chicago and that already possessed the exposition contract to inspect the steel used in the fair’s buildings”(155). Finn Wittrock would be the most fitting piece for Ferris.
Robert Downy Jr. should portray the part of pitezel, Holmes right-hand man. “‘Pitezel was his tool,’ a district attorney said, ‘his creature’” (70).
Donald Sutherland would be the ideal fit for Frederick Law Olmsted. Previous films such as The Hunger Games could speak for Sutherland’s reputation for dedication to a character. Much like sutherland, Olmsted is described by larson to “ have a reputation for brilliance and tireless devotion to his work” (53).
The characters have strong personality traits to make them stick out in the novel. Each actor chosen has similar traits that make them stick out in the industry. These are crucial components when casting for a movie with characters that have depth to them.
Larson, Erik.The Devil in The White City. Vintage, 2004.