Back in April, we learned that Oldboy/Stoker/The Handmaiden‘s Park Chan-Wook was looking to bring his talents back to the small screen (he was, after all, one of the shepherds of The Little Drummer Girl) with an adaptation of Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer-Prizer winning novel The Sympathizer. Fast forward to now, and Robert Downey Jr. has hopped aboard to co-star.
The director will work alongside Canadian filmmaker Don McKellar to wrangle the miniseries into life, and plans to direct most of the episodes, with A24 producing alongside HBO, which is where the show will air in the US. Thanh Nguyen’s novel is an espionage thriller and cross-culture satire 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. While the lead and much of the ensemble will be Vietnamese, Downey has leapt at the chance to make the most of a juicy multi-character gig, bringing to life the main antagonists, all of whom represent a different arm of the American establishment — including an up-and-coming Orange County Congressman, a CIA agent and a Hollywood film director, among others.
“Adapting Mr. Nguyen’s important and masterful work requires a visionary team,” RDJ says in a statement picked up by Deadline. “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. 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.”