Ashok Amritraj’s Hyde Park Entertainment Group has acquired the rights to Greg Grandin’s nonfiction book Fordlandia to develop as a potential television series, with acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog attached to direct. Oscar-nominated Christopher Wilkinson (Gemini Man, Pawn Sacrifice) is writing the series adaptation and will executive produce.
A Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2010, Fordlandia tells the extraordinary true story of the richest man in the world in the 1920s, Henry Ford, and his attempt to re-create small-town America deep in the heart of the Amazon. Amritraj and Herzog also also serving as executive producers, with Addison Mehr and Priya Amritraj co-producing the project. Grandin’s book was published by Macmillan in 2009.
“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,” Amritraj said. “The story of a tycoon with absolute power imposing his vision of America on the world is extremely relevant today.”
Herzog received the Best Director award at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival for the Amazonian adventure tale Fitzcaraldo. Recent films include the Emmy-nominated documentary Into the Inferno; Queen of the Desert, starring Nicole Kidman and Robert Pattinson; the award-winning Sundance documentary Grizzly Man; and the Oscar-nominated Encounters at the End of the World.
Wilkinson recently adapted Playing Dirty, the true story of Anthony Bosch, as a four-part limited series for HBO, and is currently writing Ferrari for Robert De Niro and Barry Levinson. Other recent projects include Pawn Sacrifice with Toby Maguire, Oliver Stone’s Nixon — for which Wilkinson received a screenwriting Oscar nomination — and Miles Ahead with Don Cheadle.
Hyde Park continues its long-term feature film financing partnership with ImageNation Abu Dhabi. The next film fully financed by Hyde Park – ImageNation is Prey, a co-production with Blumhouse Productions, produced by Amritraj and Jason Blum. Hyde Park recently had The Seagull at the Tribeca Film Festival, starring Annette Bening and Saoirse Ronan. The company also recently produced the documentary Louder Together, narrated by Hugh Jackman and featuring Coldplay, Jay Z, Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, Michelle Obama and Nobel Peace Prize Winner Malala Yousefzai.
The Hyde Park book deal for Fordlandia was handled by Steve Fisher at APA on behalf of Greg Grandin and Dave Ryan at Felker Toczek Gelman Suddleson on behalf of Hyde Park Entertainment Group.
Herzog and Wilkinson are repped by Gersh.