Leonardo DiCaprio: 'Devil' And Serial Killer

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Leo's looking to play the villain for a change.

The "Inception" star's production company, Appian Way, has secured the rights to Erik Larson's 2003 non-fiction book, "The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic And Madness At The Fair That Changed America," which chronicles the dastardly deeds of the 19th-century equivalent of Hannibal Lecter.

In what will hopefully be a change of pace from roles involving being emotionally tortured by his wife and children, Leo will play Dr. HH Holmes, a 19th-century serial killer who killed anywhere between 27 to 200 people at the time when the city of Chicago was hosting the 1893 World's Fair.

According to Hollywood Wiretap, Leo has been eyeing this project -- and the role -- since the book was first published. The book was originally optioned by Tom Cruise, with Kathryn Bigelow set to direct. That obviously didn't work out (though that would've been pretty awesome, too).

No writer or director is attached to the project yet, though we wouldn't be surprised if Leo left a copy of the book on Martin Scorsese's desk. Just sayin'.