Two-time Oscar nominee Robert Downey Jr. is teaming with HBO and A24 on a series adaptation of Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “The Sympathizer”.
The celebrated book is described as a satirical espionage thriller about the struggles of a half-French, half-Vietnamese communist spy during the final days of the Vietnam War and his resulting exile in the United States. A worldwide search is currently underway for the lead role and the rest of the largely Vietnamese ensemble.
Downey Jr. will play multiple supporting roles, all of whom represent a different arm of the American establishment, which include an up-and-coming Congressman from California, a CIA agent, and a Hollywood movie director, among others.
Acclaimed South Korean director Park Chan-wook will direct the series and serve as co-showrunner along with Don McKellar. The duo will also executive produce” The Sympathizer” alongside Downey Jr. and his Team Downey partners Susan Downey and Amanda Burrell, as well as Niv Fichman of Rhombus Media and Kim Ly.
“The Sympathizer” will be a co-production between HBO, A24, and Rhombus Media produced in association with Cinetic Media and Park Chan-wook’s Moho Film.
Downey’s team recently produced the HBO series “Perry Mason”, which has been renewed for a second season. The company is also developing an adaptation of Samantha Downing’s forthcoming novel “For Your Own Good” for HBO Max.
The team had also re-upped recently its first-look deal at HBO, where it is producing a series adaptation of Michael Crichton’s novel “Sphere”.
The series marks Downey Jr.’s first major acting gig since his take on Tony Stark/Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.