EXCLUSIVE: Alessandro Nivola (American Hustle, Selma) is in final negotiations to star in Channel 4’s four-part limited series adaptation of Lucy Kirkwood’s critically acclaimed play Chimerica, from Colin Callender’s Playground Entertainment.

Titled Chimerica, the U.K. series, written by Kirkwood, examines the changing fortunes of the U.S. and China. Nivola will play the lead, an American photojournalist who 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.

Chimerica starts in China’s Tiananmen Square in 1989 as young American photojournalist captures a piece of history as tanks roll through Beijing and soldiers hammer on his hotel door. Twenty years later, he is covering a presidential election, marred by debate over cheap labour and the outsourcing of American jobs to Chinese factories. He subsequently becomes obsessed with a cryptic message left in a Chinese newspaper and journeys to discover who the man in the photo was.

Kirkwood executive produces the four-hour series alongside Playground Entertainment founder Callender, Head of Drama Sophie Gardiner and Adrian Sturges. Michael Keillor will direct.

Nivola has three films coming up. He stars opposite Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams in 2018 Oscar winner Sebastian Lelio’s Disobedience and also stars in Riley Stearns’s black comedy The Art of Self Defense opposite Jesse Eisenberg, and in Gideon Raff’s The Red Sea Diving Resort opposite Chris Evans.

Meanwhile, Nivola’s production company King Bee Productions in January signed a first-look TV development deal with eOne, and the independent feature he produced, To Dust, starring Matthew Broderick and Géza Röhrig, will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in April.

Nivola is repped by CAA, IK’s Independent and Management 360.