Keanu Reeves takes on a rare television role in a historical thriller

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Keanu Reeves will star in a television adaptation of “The Devil in the White City,” the best-selling non-fiction thriller about ambition, a murderer and the 1893 Universal Exposition in Chicago.

Reeves will play Daniel H. Burnham, an architect who is “trying to make his mark on history” with his designs for the fair, Hulu said in announcing the limited series on Thursday. The other central role, that of convicted murderer Dr. HH Holmes, has yet to be cast, the streaming service said.

Erik Larson’s novelist-style fair report – formally called the World’s Columbian Exposition – was published in 2003. The fair’s nickname was White City, resulting from the color of many of the exteriors of its buildings.

Various Hollywood actors toured the book, and Leonardo DiCaprio acquired the rights in 2010, aiming to star in a big-screen version like Holmes. Martin Scorsese was reportedly expected to direct.

Scorsese, DiCaprio and Reeves are among the producers of the series. There has been no immediate news of an on-screen role for DiCaprio in the Hulu project, and its release date has not been announced.

Reeves has worked almost exclusively in films, including the “Matrix” and “John Wick” franchises. He took a TV excursion with “Swedish Dicks,” a 2016-18 Swedish private eye comedy series in which Reeves made brief appearances.

Holmes, born Herman Webster Mudgett, has been hooked up and confessed to a string of murders. He was sentenced to death for one and was executed in 1896.