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William Oldroyd, the British director of 2017 indie hit Lady Macbeth, is to helm a four-part adaptation of Lucy Kirkwood’s acclaimed stage play Chimerica for U.K. network Channel 4.
Chimerica, which won the Olivier Award for best new play in 2013, explores the relationship between East and West and some of the most urgent issues affecting society today and is centered around a photojournalist who faces accusations of fake news. The new adaptation will move the setting to the run-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election, updating the original to reflect the political changes of the last two years.
The series will be the television debut for Oldroyd, who saw his feature film debut Lady Macbeth win five British Independent Film Awards. The pic is currently nominated for both best British film and outstanding debut at this year’s BAFTA Awards, while Oldroyd is the only the second British nominee for the DGA Award for outstanding directorial achievement of a first-time feature film director.
“Since I wrote the original play in 2013, the questions it raises have only acquired greater scale and relevance for us all,” said Kirkwood. “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. 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.”
Chimerica was commissioned for Channel 4 by Beth Willis, head of drama, and Simon Maxwell, head of international drama. The series will be distributed globally by all3media International.
The project is being produced by Playground (Wolf Hall, Howards End, Little Women), with Colin Callender and Sophie Gardiner as executive producers. Kirkwood will also serve as an executive producer. The producer is Adrian Sturges (Fearless, The Enfield Haunting, The Disappearance of Alice Creed).
Filming will commence in 2018, with casting details to be announced at a later date.
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