‘The Sympathizer’ Trailer: Robert Downey Jr., Park Chan-wook and HBO Team for a Thrilling Spy Tale

The A24-produced series is based on Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name

HBO has released a thrilling new trailer for the upcoming series “The Sympathizer,” which will debut on HBO and Max on April 14. Hailing from “Oldboy” and “The Handmaiden” filmmaker Park Chan-wook and producers Robert Downey Jr. and A24, the limited series is an adaptation of Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel that tells the story of a communist spy during the final days of the Vietnam War.

Shades of “Inherent Vice” and Quentin Tarantino abound in this new teaser, which mixes comedy with spycraft — a killer combo from a filmmaker as adept as Park Chan-wook. Hoa Xuande plays the half-French, half-Vietnamese communist at the center of the story while Downey Jr. plays multiple roles, including that of the young man’s handler.

Downey Jr. is, of course, also likely on the cusp of winning his first Oscar for his role in Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer,” as he’s the frontrunner for Best Supporting Actor.

This isn’t Park Chan-wook’s first foray into television — he previously directed the John le Carré adaptation “The Little Drummer Girl” for AMC. This new series comes after his acclaimed 2022 film “Decision to Leave.”

Downey Jr. serves as an executive producer on the series alongside wife Susan Downey, with Park Chan-wook serving as co-showrunner, executive producer, writer and director of the first three episodes. Don McKellar is co-showrunner, executive producer and writer.

Fernando Meirelles directs Episode 4, while Marc Munden directs episodes 5 through 7. Writers include Mark Richard, Naomi Iizuka, Maegan Houang, Anchuli Felicia King and Tea Ho.

The cast also includes Fred Nguyen Khan, Toan Le, Phanxine, Vy Le, Ky Duyen, Kieu Chinh, Duy Nguyen, Alan Trong and Sandra Oh.

Other executive producers on “The Sympathizer” include Amanda Burrell for Team Downey, Niv Fichman for Rhombus Media, Kim
Ly, Ron Schmidt, Viet Thanh Nguyen and Jisun Back for Moho Film.

“The Sympathizer” is a co-production between HBO, A24, and Rhombus Media, produced in association with Moho Film and Cinetic Media.


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