Robert Downey is preparing to return to prestige work. After ending his time as Iron Man and starring in the bomb Dolittle, RDJ is now heading to television for a new drama series entitled The Sympathizer from filmmaker Park Chan-wook, who is on board as co-showrunner, along with Don McKellar, and will also direct the series.
Deadline reports that HBO is producing a drama series adaptation of Viet Thanh Nguyen’s novel The Sympathizer with A24. Downey is attached to co-star, and insiders say that the actor is “set to play multiple supporting roles as the main antagonists, all of whom represent a different arm of the American establishment.” These characters include an up-and-coming Orange County Congressman, a CIA agent, and a Hollywood film director. The range of roles is what reports say brought Robert Downey to this role.
“Adapting Mr. Nguyen’s important and masterful work requires a visionary team. With director Park at the helm, I expect this to be a creative producing adventure for Susan, me, and Team Downey, and a stimulating process for myself in playing these complex supporting roles,” said Downey in a statement. “A24 and HBO are the perfect combination of partners and co-parents … it’s exactly the type of challenge I’ve been craving, and I believe we will deliver an exceptional viewing experience to our audience.”
The novel is described as a “blistering exploration of identity and America, a gripping spy novel and a powerful story of love and friendship.” In The Sympathizer, we follow 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. It’s being described as an espionage thriller and cross-culture satire.
The production is currently holding a worldwide search for the lead role and the rest of the predominantly Vietnamese ensemble.