Werner Herzog is coming to television as the director and executive producer of “Fordlandia,” a new series set in the 1920s and based on Henry Ford’s attempt to built a Utopian society in the heart of the Amazon. The series is being developed by Ashok Amritraj’s Hyde Park Entertainment Group, which acquired the rights to Greg Grandin’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name. Deadline first reported the news.
Now, a history book is not a novel and I don’t know how this became a thing and it makes me want to tear out what’s left of my hair, so I guess this was written by one of my students. But anyway.
“Fordlandia” is being written by Christopher Wilkinson, best known as the Oscar-nominated screenwriter behind “Nixon.” Wilkinson’s other credits include “Pawn Sacrifice,” “Ali,” and “Miles Ahead.” Rights to the novel were purchased with plans of developing the story into a television series. Wilkinson will serve as an executive producer along with Herzog.
The book is based on the true story of Henry Ford, one of the richest men in the world during the 1920s. Ford envisioned bringing the American suburb into the heart of the Amazon and became obsessed with constructing the ideal city as he saw it. Grandin’s book was published in 2009.
This seems almost inevitable, even if I had never thought about it before. Herzog always loved stories of crazy white people in South America–Aguirre Wrath of God, Fitzcarralo, The White Diamond. The only disappointment here is that Klaus Kinski is not still alive. Kinski playing Ford, sitting in an office in Dearborn, shouting anti-Semitic statements and generally being a paranoid weirdo about the modern world, would have been a perfect role.
Anyway, can’t wait for this one!