EXCLUSIVE: Henry Ford’s failed industrial town in the Amazon Rainforest is the backdrop of a supernatural Brazilian TV drama.
Fordlândia — Battle Between Worlds is in development at Diosual Entertainment ahead of production in 2024. Brazilian screenwriter Paula Richards (Jesus, Lia) is attached alongside Emmy winner Rogério Gomes (Empire, Edge of Desire), who directs. Diosual CEO Guto Colunga is the executive producer. We understand a U.S. co-production agreement is close to being signed.
Casting is at early stages, with at least one high-profile U.S. actor being linked, as are several Brazilian stars. Three young actors will play the lead roles of Ceuci, Jovita and Emily.
We hear the plan is shoot Fordlândia in English with a Brazilian and American cast, with filming also taking place in Portuguese and Munduruku, the local language of the indigenous Brazilians living by the Amazon River basin. Colunga said it was planned as “an original story with local and international appeal.”
Back in the 1928, U.S. industrial giant Ford built a modern town that followed American customs and culture on the banks of the Tapajós river near the city of Aveiro, to produce rubber and end Britain’s monopoly over the material. Despite infrastructure and quality of life benefits, locals revolted against the conditions and ultimately no rubber was manufactured, with the Ford family selling the land back to the Brazilian government at a huge loss in 1945.
This will act as the backdrop off the new series, whose logline reads: “Unknown and dangerous supernatural forces are awakened with the creation of Fordlândia, ensuing a battle between the physical and spiritual realms. Born on the day that the forest shed tears of blood, the Indian Ceuci and her friends come together to face the evil that wants to take over the world.”
Richards called it “an epic adventure where historical facts blend with fiction, magic with reality.”
“Fordlândia – Battle Between Worlds is a story about friendship and tolerance; how united, we are stronger,” she added. “It’s about how people with different origins and distinct beliefs can learn with one another, coming together to preserve balance and nature. It’s about growing up in a scary world, unveiling the inner strength and courage to change things, and it’s about how love has the power to break physical and temporal boundaries, revealing itself to be the greatest weapon against evil.”
Colunga’s Diosual has been making a concerted push into the international space this year. Earlier this month, we revealed it was working on Land of Shadows, a Portugal-Brazil co-copro about two gay soldiers in the 17th Century based on a novel from Emmy winner and telenovela writer Aguinaldo Silva.
The news comes at an important time for Brazilian TV and film. The Lula government is beginning to explore streamer regulation and plans to invest heavily in the country’s audiovisual sector this year after Jair Bolsonoro’s previous regime slowed state spending. São Paulo authorities are also set to reopen a filming incentive plan aimed at attracting international co-productions.