Now that Robert Downey Jr. has hung up his boots (and heavy armored suit) and said farewell to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he’s free to do other things like, uh, play Dr. Dolittle in a CGI nightmare of a movie with a farting dragon? Hm, let’s try that again. Downey Jr. is free to do other things, like star in an HBO and A24 co-production from an acclaimed director based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning book? Much better.
Deadline reports that Downey Jr. will star in The Sympathizer, an adaptation of author Viet Thanh Nguyen’s novel of the same name. Park Chan-wook, the genius filmmaker behind The Handmaiden, Oldboy, and The Little Drummer Girl miniseries with Florence Pugh and Michael Shannon, will direct and serve as co-showrunner:
Thanh Nguyen’s 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.
“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,” Downey said in a statement. “A24 and HBO are the perfect combination of partners and co-parents… It’s exactly the type of challenge I’ve been craving, and I believe we will deliver an exceptional viewing experience to our audience.”
The Sympathizer is no Dolittle 2 (2Little?), but it’ll do.