It likely won’t be long until we can all watch the “Chocolate Wars” of the early nineteenth century play out on TV.
The book Chocolate Wars: The 150-Year Rivalry Between the World's Greatest Chocolate Makers, by Deborah Cadbury is being made into a TV drama, according to Dateline.
Specifically, “Fable Pictures, the British production company run by The Crown and Suffragette producer Faye Ward,” optioned the book, according to Dateline.
“We are excited to announce our 'Chocolate Wars' project: the battle for global chocolate dominance between the likes of Cadbury, Nestle and Hershey! Directed by Tom Harps, written by Smita Bhide,” Fable Pictures announced on its Twitter.
In a statement, Ward says it is an evocative piece of history that she has always been intrigued by.
“I love that it still continues to give us pleasures and comfort in our everyday lives today,” Ward says. “It’s the enduring, complex conflict between the families that really give the show its heart and soul, and we’re thrilled to have Smita and Tom on board to bring this unique story to life on screen.”
The book takes place in the early nineteenth century, when major English chocolate firms—Fry, Rowntree, and Cadbury—were all Quaker family enterprises that aimed to do well by doing good, according to the plot summary on Amazon.
“The English chocolatiers introduced the world's first chocolate bar and ever fancier chocolate temptations—while also writing groundbreaking papers on poverty, publishing authoritative studies of the Bible, and campaigning against human rights abuses. Chocolate was always a global business, and in the global competitors, especially the Swiss and the Americans Hershey and Mars, the Quaker capitalists met their match. The ensuing chocolate wars would culminate in a multi-billion-dollar showdown pitting Quaker tradition against the cutthroat tactics of a corporate behemoth,” the plot summary continues. “Featuring a cast of savvy entrepreneurs, brilliant eccentrics, and resourceful visionaries, Chocolate Warsis a delicious history of the fierce, 150-year business rivalry for one of the world's most coveted markets.”
Dateline says, “The drama series will draw on Cadbury’s historical book, which charts over 150 years of Cadbury history, blending historical fact and fiction and telling the story of two very different brothers George and Richard Cadbury.”
It will also use the chocolate industry in the late 19th Century as a microcosm to explore the industrial revolution and the roots of capitalism.
“It is envisaged as an international saga that takes viewers on a journey from the thriving industrial powerhouse of Victorian Birmingham to the cocoa plantations of Trinidad to the sweeping cornfields of Pennsylvania and to Switzerland where Lindt and Nestle were growing small empires of their own,” Datelines says.