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Werner Herzog to helm Fordlandia TV series about Henry Ford's jungle city

Although Henry Ford didn't invent the automobile, his Model T would go on to revolutionize American industry by being the first automobile which many middle-class Americans could actually afford. He became quite the wealthy man in the process and began many ambitious projects, including Fordlandia, a small industrial town in the heart of the Amazon founded with the intention of growing rubber. The project quickly evolved, and Ford began turning Fordlandia into a mini-America, complete with golf courses, ice-cream shops, and Model T's. Poor planning and worker revolts eventually led to failure, but the story is certainly excellent material for a TV series, and Hyde Park Entertainment aims to do just that.

After acquiring the rights to Greg Grandin's Pulitzer Price winning novel "Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford's Forgotten Jungle City", Hyde Park has tapped Werner Herzog with bringing the amazing true-story to life. Fordlandia aims to be an epic drama series that tells the extraordinary true story of the richest man in the world in the 1920s, Henry Ford, and his attempt to recreate small-town America deep in the heart of the Amazon. "Fordlandia is an incredible true story and we are thrilled to be working with Werner, one of the world’s most iconic filmmakers, and Chris, a truly exceptional writer," Hyde Park CEO Ashok Amritraj said. "The story of a tycoon with absolute power imposing his vision of America on the world is extremely relevant today." Christopher Wilkinson (GEMINI MAN) will be tackling the script as well as serving as executive producer.

A synopsis of "Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford's Forgotten Jungle City" via Amazon:

In 1927, Henry Ford, the richest man in the world, bought a tract of land twice the size of Delaware in the Brazilian Amazon. His intention was to grow rubber, but the project rapidly evolved into a more ambitious bid to export America itself, along with its golf courses, ice-cream shops, bandstands, indoor plumbing, and Model Ts rolling down broad streets.

Fordlandia, as the settlement was called, quickly became the site of an epic clash. On one side was the car magnate, lean, austere, the man who reduced industrial production to its simplest motions; on the other, the Amazon, lush, extravagant, the most complex ecological system on the planet. Ford's early success in imposing time clocks and square dances on the jungle soon collapsed, as indigenous workers, rejecting his midwestern Puritanism, turned the place into a ribald tropical boomtown. Fordlandia's eventual demise as a rubber plantation foreshadowed the practices that today are laying waste to the rain forest.

More than a parable of one man's arrogant attempt to force his will on the natural world, Fordlandia depicts a desperate quest to salvage the bygone America that the Ford factory system did much to dispatch. As Greg Grandin shows in this gripping and mordantly observed history, Ford's great delusion was not that the Amazon could be tamed but that the forces of capitalism, once released, might yet be contained.

Which Werner Herzog film is your favourite?

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