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Robert Downey Jr to star in HBO’s adaptation of The Sympathizer

Robert Downey Jr, who rose to international stardom as Tony Stark a.k.a Iron Man, has been signed on for The Sympathizer, the TV adaptation of Vietnamese-American author Viet Thanh Nguyen’s debut novel of the same name that won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2016 besides many other laurels.

Hia Datta
Jul 16, 2021
 
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Image courtesy: Deadline

The Sympathizer will air on HBO and A24 and will be directed by South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook, best known for The Handmaiden and Oldboy. The TV show marks the return of Downey Jr in a lead role after his Iron Man act in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for more than a decade now. He was last seen in the 2019 mega-blockbuster Avenger: Endgame.

 As reported in Deadline, the versatile actor will play many antagonistic roles in the show, such as an Orange County congressman, a CIA agent, and a Hollywood film director.

As reported in Deadline, the versatile actor will play many antagonistic roles in the show, such as an Orange County congressman, a CIA agent, and a Hollywood film director. Speaking on the TV show to Deadline, Downey Jr reflected on how a ‘visionary team’ was the key to the successful adaptation of the novel. He went on to add that A24 and HBO were the ‘perfect combination of partners and co-parents’ for the TV show. Downey Jr praised the choice of Park as the director and the production team and that he expected it to be a ‘stimulating process’ for him to play the complicated supporting characters. “It’s exactly the type of challenge I’ve been craving, and I believe we will deliver an exceptional viewing experience to our audience,” he said. 

 Nguyen announced the TV adaptation of his novel on his Twitter on July 7.

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The novel The Sympathizer goes across genres, from being a metafiction, historical fiction, spy fiction, and more but is an espionage thriller chronicling the narrative of a half-French, half-Vietnamese communist spy.

 Downey Jr has collaborated before with HBO’s miniseries reboot of Perry Mason that featured Matthew Rhys in the eponymous role. The independent studio A24 is well known for its low-budget, critically acclaimed, and award-winning films like Uncut Gems, Hereditary, and Midsommar, and has previously collaborated with HBO.

 

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