Robert Downey Jr. Is A Spy With Many Disguises In HBO Show

Robert Downey Jr. is playing a spy with many different disguises in the first trailer for his upcoming HBO show, The Sympathizer. Downey Jr. is best known for playing Tony Stark, a.k.a Iron Man, in a litany of Marvel Cinematic Universe films over 11 years from 2008 to 2019 but has not been as busy since Stark died in Avengers: Endgame. His role in The Sympathizer represents his first live-action TV work since 2002.

HBO Max has released the first trailer for The Sympathizer, which is based on the 2015 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Viet Thanh Nguyen. The two-minute peek at the original limited series reveals Downey Jr. with many very different looks. Watch the trailer below:


The trailer introduces the show’s protagonist, the Captain, who is played by Hoa Xuande, as a North Vietnamese spy in the South Vietnamese army during the Vietnam War who flees to America following the conflict, where he continues to spy for the Viet Cong in a community of Vietnamese refugees.

What We Know About The Sympathizer

The series, which is set to be released on HBO Max sometime in 2024, will be produced by A24, which originally optioned Nguyen’s novel for a TV adaptation. Downey Jr. and his wife Susan Downey’s production company, Team Downey, and Rhombus Media, are also part of the show’s production team. The series was developed by co-showrunners Don McKellar and Park Chan-wook, the latter of who will also serve as a director. Chan-wook, who is well-known for directing the thriller Oldboy, is widely regarded as one of the best directors in South Korean cinema.

The worldwide casting call that the producers put out to find their Vietnamese main cast resulted in the casting of Xuande in the lead role. Joining the main cast will be Fred Nguyen Khan as Bon and Toan Le as the General. Appearing in recurring roles alongside Downey Jr. will be Sandra Oh as Ms. Sofia Mori, Ky Duyen as Madame, the General’s wife, and Kieu Chinh as the Major’s mother.

The Sympathizer‘s story will follow the narrator, known only as the Captain, as he maneuvers to appease his bosses in the Viet Cong back in Vietnam while also grappling with his new life in America. The story delves into elements of immigrant identity in America, Cold War spy tactics, as well as love and friendship. Downey Jr., who will soon appear in Oppenheimer, another project based on historical events, will play several different antagonists, who represent a different arm of the American establishment.

Source: HBO Max

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