This news comes from Deadline, which reports that HBO has commissioned the A24 drama series adaptation of the Pulitzer-winning novel, The Sympathizer, written by Viet Thanh Nguyen. Downey Jr. will co-star alongside the yet to be found frontman of the series.
The Sympathizer is a spy thriller with a hint of satire about a half-French, half-Vietnamese Communist spy in the last days of the Vietnam War. Exiled in the United States, the story of the spy represents a “dazzling exploration of identity and America,” as the novel describes. It is also described as a “gripping spy novel and a powerful story of love and friendship”.
A search is underway for someone to play the spy in question as well as the rest of the cast, who will be predominantly Vietnamese, according to Deadline.
Oldboy director Park Chan-wook is slated to direct the film and they will serve as the co-showrunner for the series alongside Don McKellar. Downey Jr., Susan Downey and Amanda Burrell of Team Downey will produce the show with McKellar and Chan-wook alongside Kim Ly and Niv Fichman of Rhombus Media.
The sympathizer will be one of Downey Jr.’s first roles after his ten-year career as Iron Man in the MCU – don’t forget last year’s Dolittle, however – and according to Deadline, Downey Jr. was particularly interested in this. project on several other offers thanks to the “incredible story” and to “the opportunity to show his incredible range of actor”.
According to Deadline’s sources, Downey Jr. will play several supporting roles as the series’ main antagonists, “all of whom represent a different branch of the American establishment … including an Orange County congressman, an agent from the CIA, and a Hollywood director, among others. ”
The Sympathizer isn’t Team Downey’s first collaboration with HBO – the two companies teamed up for HBO’s Perry Mason last year. This is also not the first collaboration between HBO and A24, as the two teamed up for Euphoria in 2019.
It’s not yet clear when to expect this adaptation of The Sympathizer, although it may take some time as the production is still in the process of releasing its main and serial set.
While we wait for this series to arrive on HBO, check out our thoughts on Team Downey’s latest film in IGN’s Dolittle review, then check out our thoughts on Downey’s final shot as Iron Man in IGN’s Avengers: Endgame. .
Wesley LeBlanc is a freelance news writer and guidebook maker for IGN. You can follow it on Twitter @LeBlancWes.