'Iron Man' to star in adaptation of award winning Vietnamese-American novel

By Long Nguyen   July 17, 2021 | 06:00 pm PT
After leaving Marvel Cinematic Universe, Robert Downey Jr. will star in and co-produce the series adaptation of Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, 'The Sympathizer.'

According to American entertainment news site Deadline, the project marks the first role for Robert Downey since his final appearance as iconic Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

He 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.

"Adapting Mr. Nguyen’s important and masterful work requires a visionary team," Deadline quoted Downey as saying.

Robert Downey Jr. will star in and co-produce the series adaptation of The Sympathizer. Photo courtesy of Robert Downey Jr.

Robert Downey Jr. will star in and co-produce the series adaptation of "The Sympathizer." Photo courtesy of Robert Downey Jr.

"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. "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 series adaptation of "The Symopathizer" is the next collaboration between renowned film studio A24 and television network HBO. It will be directed by South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook.

Nguyen, 50, a professor of English and American studies and ethnicity at the University of California made his writing debut with "The Sympathizer" in 2015 and promptly won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, among a handful of other honors.

It became the first book to win the Edgar Award and Pulitzer Prize in the same year, is hailed as a new classic of war fiction and has been compared to the works of Kafka, Orwell, and le Carré.

It depicts the story of a Vietnamese man coming to the U.S. and later returning to his home country after years.

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