The Sympathizer Trailer has Divided Loyalties

Robert Downey Jr. is back, but not as you know him – no matter where you know him from. Today, HBO released a trailer for The Sympathizer, a new spy thriller miniseries from Park Chan-wook and Don McKellar. Based on the novel by Viet Thanh Nguyen, The Sympathizer follows the Captain, a communist spy who flees North Vietnam for America after the war and continues spying for his superiors but finds his loyalties begin to shift. Hoa Xuande stars as the Captain, with Fred Nguyen Khan, Toan Le, Duy Nguyễn, and Sandra Oh in supporting, and Robert Downey Jr. playing four parts with a lot of makeup. The Sympathizer begins airing on HBO on April 14, 2024, and you can see the trailer below:

I’m very interested in The Sympathizer. I love a good spy story, so this is automatically on my radar, but the trailer is engrossing. It’s hard to say whose side the Captain is on, and I like that. Divided loyalties is a recurring theme in spy fiction, partly because there are so many ways it can play out. There appears to be a good amount of comedy; perhaps The Sympathizer is partly a satire. I trust Park Chan-wook with this material after his last spy miniseries, The Little Drummer Girl, which was excellent. And I’m really looking forward to seeing Robert Downey Jr. in these roles. We only get a sense of what one of them is: the spymaster running the Captain for the CIA. As much as I miss Tony Stark, I like seeing Downey try all these different things now that he’s got more time. I hope this is another great spy series from Park Chan-wook and that we get to see several entertaining new sides to Robert Downey Jr.

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