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The Sympathizer - HBO Orders Espionage Thriller Drama Series; Robert Downey Jr. to Co-Star


After officially hanging up his Iron Man suit in Avengers: Endgame, Robert Downey Jr. looks to have found his next big role to tackle while also marking his first starring TV venture. Sources tell Deadline, HBO has ordered the A24 drama series adaptation of Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Sympathizer, with Downey attached to co-star.

The novel is an espionage thriller and 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 underway for the lead role and the rest of the predominantly Vietnamese ensemble.

Described as a “blistering exploration of identity and America, a gripping spy novel and a powerful story of love and friendship,” the novel is hailed as a new classic of war fiction and has been compared to the works of Kafka, Orwell, and le CarrĂ©.


Execs now will look to cast the title character who will co-star opposite Downey.

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