Robert Downey Jr. To Star in First TV Series, ‘The Sympathizer’
Robert Downey Jr.’s post-Marvel career has gotten off to a slow start. Since retiring from the role of Iron Man in the summer of 2019, Downey has appeared in just a single film: The poorly-received remake, Dolittle.
But here is an eye-catching announcement. Deadline reports Downey will now star in The Sympathizer, an upcoming series for HBO from A24. The show will be directed by Park Chan-wook, the great Korean filmmaker behind Oldboy, Stoker, and The Handmaiden. The project marks Downey’s first major role in a television series.
The show is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Viet Thanh Nguyen, which is described as “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.” Downey “ is set to play multiple supporting roles as the main antagonists, all of whom represent a different arm of the American establishment — including an up-and-coming Orange County Congressman, a CIA agent and a Hollywood film director, among others.” In a statement, Downey said “adapting Mr. Nguyen’s important and masterful work requires a visionary team. With Director Park at the helm, I expect this to be a creative producing adventure for Susan, me and Team Downey, and a stimulating process for myself in playing these complex supporting roles.”
It sounds like a flashy and exciting turn for Downey, who is an incredibly actor that’s rarely shown off his full range in the years since he became a mega-star in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And if making all that money with Marvel doesn’t buy you the creative freedom to pursue more adventurous projects like this, what’s even the point of doing them?
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