Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Viet Thanh Nguyen, The Sympathizer tells the story of a young North Vietnamese spy who is sent to New York City in 1973. After being tortured and imprisoned for 25 years, he finds himself a stranger in his own country.
With nothing to lose, he decides to tell his true feelings about America’s involvement in Vietnam. This historical thriller explores what it means to be an American with compassion and intelligence while also asking how much power should one person have?
The Sympathizer On HBO
The Sympathizer is a movie described as a “blistering exploration of identity and America, gripping spy novel and powerful story of love and friendship.” The novel has been compared to the works of Kafka, Orwell, and le Carré.
The Sympathizer is a limited series coming to HBO, co-produced by A24 Television in association with Rhombus Media. Directed and co-written by Oldboy director Park Chan-wook, the series will star Don McKellar and also features supporting actors Susan Downey and Amanda Burrell for Team Downey.
At the end of his run in Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. sought new opportunities, and he found them in The Sympathizer. When the opportunity came to play another character than Tony Stark – one with incredible potential for the range he jumped on it.
According to insiders, the main antagonist is set to play multiple supporting roles including an up-and-coming Orange County congressman, a CIA agent, and a Hollywood film director.
“Adapting Mr. Nguyen’s important and masterful work requires a visionary team,” Robert Downey said of the project on behalf of Team Downey, adding that with director Park at the helm it will be “a creative producing adventure for Susan, me and A24 and HBO.”
CBS and the producers of Perry Mason, CBS Television Studios, have partnered with HBO in order to produce an adaptation of The Sympathizer. The drama series was nominated for five Emmy Awards following its first season last fall on PBS’ show “American Playhouse”.
This is just one successful outing in the companies’ newly extended partnership agreement originally signed two years ago which will also result in such projects as a new series starring Matthew Rhys (nominated for an Emmy this week).
A24 and HBO have worked together on the Emmy-winning Euphoria and an acclaimed Olivier Assayas remake of his own Irma Vep.
Other Major Things
Park is best known for directing a string of films, including Oldboy, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, and Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance. His agency WME introduced Park to Hollywood producers, who eventually signed onto his scripts as co-producers.
Robert Downey is currently in talks to headline the new film adaptation of The Sympathizer. Downey recurred on Ally McBeal throughout the early 2000s and is signed with representatives at WME. McKellar, who stars on the television series Ringer, is represented by Great North Artists Management.
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