The Sympathizer
Genre
Based onThe Sympathizer
by Viet Thanh Nguyen
Developed by
Starring
Country of origin
  • United States
  • Canada
Original languageEnglish
Production
Executive producers
Production locations
  • United States
  • Thailand
Production companies
Original release
NetworkHBO

The Sympathizer is an upcoming historical black comedy drama television series based on the 2015 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Viet Thanh Nguyen. The series was developed by co-showrunners Park Chan-wook and Don McKellar, with Park directing for the series as well. The series is produced to air on HBO by A24 and Rhombus Media.

Premise

The series is based on the story of the Captain, a North Vietnam plant in the South Vietnam army. He is forced to flee to the United States with his general near the end of the Vietnam War. While living within a community of South Vietnamese refugees, he continues to secretly spy on the community and report back to the Viet Cong, struggling between his original loyalties and his new life.[1]

Cast

Main

Recurring

Production

In April 2021, Viet Thanh Nguyen announced that his novel The Sympathizer had been optioned by A24 to be adapted into a television series with Park Chan-wook directing. Rhombus Media is also involved in the production.[1] In July, HBO ordered the series from A24, and Robert Downey Jr. joined the project in a producer and co-star role.[2] The state of California awarded the production over $17.4 million in tax credits ensuring significant production would take place in state.[3] Marc Munden and Fernando Meirelles were also hired to direct some episodes of the series.[4]

Casting director Jennifer Venditti opened a worldwide casting call in order to find a main cast of Vietnamese descent, ultimately hiring Hoa Xuande, Fred Nguyen Khan, Toan Le, Vy Le, and Alan Trong.[5] Recurring roles for Sandra Oh, Kieu Chinh, and Nguyen Cao Ky Duyen were also announced in November 2022, and Downey was portraying several supporting antagonistic roles representing the American establishment.[6] In May 2023, Scott Ly and Marine Delterme joined the cast, in recurring roles.[7][8]

Filming took place in Los Angeles and Thailand.[5] Downey shaved his head for the series in order to save time required to use a bald cap for each of the various characters he portrayed. A significant portion of Downey's performance was also improvised.[9]

Release

The series will air on HBO and be available to stream on Max in 2024.[10]

References

  1. ^ a b Bui, Hoai-Tran (April 7, 2021). "Park Chan-wook is Directing a TV Adaptation of Viet Thanh Nguyen's Pulitzer-Winning Novel The Sympathizer". /Film. Archived from the original on April 8, 2021. Retrieved April 9, 2021.
  2. ^ Porter, Rick (July 15, 2021). "Robert Downey Jr. to Produce, Co-Star in The Sympathizer Drama at HBO". The Hollywood Reporter. PMRC. Archived from the original on July 15, 2021. Retrieved July 15, 2021.
  3. ^ Patten, Dominic (July 18, 2022). "Star Wars Series Skeleton Crew, Shonda Rhimes' White House Drama The Residence, & Robert Downey Jr's The Sympathizer Adaptation Awarded Big CA Tax Credits". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on August 22, 2022. Retrieved August 22, 2022.
  4. ^ Petski, Denise (January 20, 2023). "The Sympathizer: Marc Munden & Fernando Meirelles To Direct HBO/A24 Series, Three Cast". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on January 25, 2023. Retrieved February 2, 2023.
  5. ^ a b Porter, Rick (November 9, 2022). "HBO's Post-Vietnam Series The Sympathizer Sets Main Cast". The Hollywood Reporter. PMRC. Archived from the original on November 9, 2022. Retrieved November 9, 2022.
  6. ^ Petski, Denise (November 10, 2022). "The Sympathizer: Sandra Oh Among Three Cast In HBO & A24's Drama Series Adaptation". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on November 10, 2022. Retrieved November 10, 2022.
  7. ^ Bell, BreAnna (May 11, 2023). "HBO's The Sympathizer Adds Scott Ly to Cast (Exclusive)". Variety. Archived from the original on May 25, 2023. Retrieved May 25, 2023.
  8. ^ Keslassy, Elsa (May 19, 2023). "French Actor Marine Delterme Signs With WME, Joins Cast of HBO Spy Series The Sympathizer by Park Chan-Wook (Exclusive)". Variety. Archived from the original on May 25, 2023. Retrieved May 25, 2023.
  9. ^ Gardner, Chris (January 16, 2023). "Park Chan-wook Praises Robert Downey Jr. for Remembering Every Crew Member on 'Sympathizer' Set: "He Gives Them Each a Pat on the Back"". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on April 12, 2023.
  10. ^ Porter, Rick (April 12, 2023). "The Sympathizer: HBO's Post-Vietnam Series Releases Trailer". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on April 12, 2023. Retrieved April 12, 2023.