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William Oldroyd to Helm Geopolitics Drama ‘Chimerica’ for Channel 4

Channel 4 has greenlit “Chimerica,” a TV series based on Lucy Kirkwood’s award-winning play and helmed by BAFTA-nominated director William Oldroyd in his TV debut.

The play examines contemporary global politics and the relationship between East and West. Colin Callender’s Playground is making the four-part TV adaptation and has updated the story, and will delve more deeply into issues including fake news. Benedict Wong (“Avengers: Infinity War”) starred in the play and is in talks to reprise his role in the TV adaptation.

It follows an American photojournalist who, amid cries of fake news, tries to discover the truth behind the iconic, career-making image he took of a lone man defying the tanks that rolled into Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Oldroyd’s film “Lady Macbeth” has garnered several awards and nominations, including two at next month’s BAFTA Awards. Kirkwood, whose play won Olivier and Evening Standard awards, will executive produce the “Chimerica” series.

“It was thrilling for me to return to the story of two men, one American and one Chinese, trying to work out how to respond to the outrages of an increasingly outrageous world, and look through their eyes at our changing relationship with journalism, power, protest, and images themselves,” she said. “I feel especially lucky to have William at the helm, and am very excited to have the chance to collaborate with him on this epic, international story.”

“Lucy’s play was searingly relevant, thought-provoking and compulsive,” added Channel 4 programming chief Ian Katz. “I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to bring it to a TV audience, and to have such a fresh and exciting voice on the channel.”

All3Media is handling distribution. No international partners have been announced.

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