The pair will join the American Hustle star, as exclusively reported earlier this year by Deadline, and Sophie Okonedo (Hotel Rwanda), Terry Chen (Jessica Jones) and Ty Simpkins (Jurassic World) in the four-part drama for UK’s Channel 4.
Chimerica, written by Kirkwood, examines the changing fortunes of the U.S. and China. Nivola will play the lead, American photojournalist Lee Berger 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. Jones will play Mel Kincaid, Lee’s old friend and colleague, fiercely intellectual and recently sober; Okonedo will be Tessa Kendrick, a corporate-minded market researcher who crosses Lee’s path in China and at home in NYC; Abraham stars as Lee’s long-time mentor, news editor Frank Sams; and Chen is Zhang Lin, a friend from Lee’s time abroad in China. Simpkins plays a young Lee Berger.
Chimerica starts in China’s Tiananmen Square in 1989 as Berger captures a piece of history and soldiers hammer on his hotel door. Twenty years later, he is covering a presidential election, marked 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 Colin Callender, Head of Drama Sophie Gardiner and Adrian Sturges. Michael Keillor will direct.