HBO has dropped the official teaser and a new photo for its upcoming original limited series, The Sympathizer. The show, based on Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, is set to premiere on Max in 2024. The teaser, which was exclusively shown during the unveiling of the Max streaming service at the Warner Bros. lot in Los Angeles, introduces the cast led by Hoa Xuande, Fred Nguyen Khan, Toan Le, Ky Duyen, and Sandra Oh. The teaser also reveals the star and executive producer, Robert Downey Jr., who will be playing multiple roles.
The Sympathizer is an espionage thriller and a cross-cultural satire that centers around the struggles of a communist spy of mixed Vietnamese and French descent during the last days of the Vietnam War. The story follows the protagonist’s journey as he is exiled to the United States, navigating the challenges of adapting to a new culture and reconciling with his complex identity.
The series boasts a talented cast and crew, with Park Chan-wook and Don McKellar as co-showrunners and executive producers. Park Chan-wook, who is known for his work on the critically acclaimed film Oldboy, will also serve as a writer and director for the first three episodes. Don McKellar, a veteran writer and actor, will also be involved in the writing for the series.
Aside from the two showrunners, the series will feature a star-studded ensemble cast. Hoa Xuande, Fred Nguyen Khan, Toan Le, Vy Le, Alan Trong, Ky Duyen, and Sandra Oh will be joined by Robert Downey Jr. in a multi-faceted role. This will be the first time that Robert Downey Jr. will be starring in a television series since his role as Larry Paul in the hit show Ally McBeal.
The production team behind the series is also impressive. A24, the independent entertainment company responsible for award-winning films such as Moonlight and Lady Bird, is an executive producer for the show. Susan Downey and Amanda Burrell will also serve as executive producers for Team Downey, alongside Kim Ly and Niv Fichman for Rhombus Media. Ron Schmidt and Viet Thanh Nguyen, who wrote the original novel, will also serve as executive producers. Jisun Back for Moho Film will also be an executive producer, while Fernando Meirelles will direct episode four and Marc Munden will direct episodes five to seven. The writing team will consist of Mark Richard, Naomi Iizuka, Maegan Houang, Anchuli Felicia King, and Tea Ho.
The Sympathizer is a co-production between HBO, A24, and Rhombus Media, produced in association with Cinetic Media and Moho Film. The series promises to be a gripping, thought-provoking, and highly entertaining viewing experience that will explore complex themes such as identity, culture, and politics. With its impressive cast and crew, The Sympathizer is shaping up to be one of the most highly anticipated series of 2024, and fans are eagerly waiting for its premiere on Max.