WASHINGTON — Actor Robert Downey Jr., widely known for playing Tony Stark or Iron Man, has landed his next starring role. The actor is set to star in and produce a drama series based on Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “The Sympathizer.”
As per reports, the best-selling debut espionage thriller “The Sympathizer” is getting the silver screen treatment at Home Box Office from A24.
Park Chan-wook, director of 2003’s “Oldboy” and 2016’s “The Handmaiden,” will serve as co-showrunner with Don McKellar. Filming is set to take place in Los Angeles and Vietnam.
“The Sympathizer” is described as a 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.
A worldwide search is currently underway for the lead role and the rest of the predominantly Vietnamese ensemble.
The television adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is a co-production between Home Box Office, A24, and Rhombus Media in association with Cinetic Media and Moho Film.
Downey Jr. will play multiple supporting roles, representing a different arm of the American establishment. These main antagonists include an up-and-coming Orange County Congressman, a Central Intelligence Agency operative, and a Hollywood film director.
“Adapting Mr. Nguyen’s important and masterful work requires a visionary team,” Downey Jr. said in a statement.
“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,” Downey Jr. said.
Park will direct “The Sympathizer” adaptation and executive produce alongside Downey Jr., McKellar, Kim Ly, Rhombus Media’s Niv Fichman, and Team Downey’s Amanda Burrell and Susan Downey.
Both A24 and Team Downey are familiar with collaborating with Home Box Office. A24 and the premium cabler worked together on the Emmy Award-winning mature Young Adult show “Euphoria” starring Zendaya and the Olivier Assayas remake of his own “Irma Vep” starring Alicia Vikander.
Team Downey currently produces the four-time Emmy-nominated “Perry Mason” reboot starring Matthew Rhys.
Downey Jr. has been associated with the Marvel Comic Universe movies since “Iron Man” was released in 2008. The new series will be Downey Jr.’s first significant acting role, apart from “Dolittle,” where he will be seen working outside the superhero movies.
Best known for heading films like “Sympathy for Lady Vengeance” and “Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance,” Park will next be directing a romantic murder mystery titled “Decision to Leave.”
He is represented by William Morris Endeavor Agency, Hansen Jacobson Teller, and Industry Entertainment Partners.
Downey Jr. is also represented by William Morris Endeavor Agency and Hansen Jacobson Teller.
(With inputs from ANI)
(Edited by Ojaswin Kathuria and Nikita Nikhil)
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