There’s a smidgen of Oh Don Piano going on here, but it’s interesting nonetheless: Eric Roth says that David Fincher is eyeing an adaptation of the non-fiction book The Devil in the White City. Written by Erik Larson (no, another one), the book tells the duel stories of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and the serial killings perpetrated by HH Holmes, known as America’s first serial killer.
Roth has written a screenplay (in which I’m intrigued, as there is almost no narrative story whatsoever in the book), and according to the writer, “Fincher’s actually interested in it.” The two, of course, recently teamed on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
If my suspicions about Benjamin Button are correct – it will do middling business and take home only technical Oscars (which it really deserves) – Fincher may want to do something more commercial than The Devil in the White City, which Roth says has sections about the building of skyscrapers in Chicago. After seeing Benjamin Button I suddenly get why Fincher wants to do that Keanu Reeves chef movie – he needs a film that will make some money.
That said, there’s something about the way Fincher keeps coming back to serial killers. If you want to really get all thesis-y on his ouevre, you could even say that Alien 3 is sort of a serial killer movie, with the Xenomorph as the killer. The Devil in the White City would be the third serial killer movie he’s ‘attached’ to, including The Killer (which is about a hitman, but come on, that’s a serial killer with a pension) and Ness aka Torso. And now that I think about it, Black Hole has a serial killer element as well. What up, Dave?
And should anyone out there have Roth’s script for The Devil in the White City, I’d love to take a look at it and see how he cracked that book into a movie.