Iron Man Robert Downey Jr lands first acting role after exiting MCU, to star in HBO’s adaptation of The Sympathizer

After Robert Downey Jr's exit from MCU where he played Iron Man for over a decade, his first acting role has been announced. He will star in a TV adaptation of The Sympathizer for HBO and A24.

After playing Tony Stark or Iron Man for more than a decade, Robert Downey Jr has finally landed his next starring role. It’s a TV adaptation of Vietnamese-American author Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer-winning debut novel The Sympathizer for HBO and A24, Deadline reported. His last release, Dolittle, began production before Avengers: Endgame finished.

The show will be the first time Downey Jr will be seen in an acting role after 2019’s Avenger: Endgame. As per Deadline’s sources, the actor will portray multiple antagonistic roles that include “Orange County congressman, a CIA agent and a Hollywood film director.”

South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook, best known for The Handmaiden and Oldboy, has signed on as the director.

Downey Jr said in a statement quoted in the Deadline report, “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. 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 an espionage thriller about a half-French, half-Vietnamese communist spy who is active in the final days of the Vietnam War who is later exiled in the United States. The novel is described as a “blistering exploration of identity and America, a gripping spy novel and a powerful story of love and friendship”.

He earlier collaborated with HBO’s miniseries reboot of Perry Mason, starring Matthew Rhys in the titular role, in 2020. A24 is a well-known indie studio, known for its low-budget, acclaimed and award-winning films like Hereditary, Uncut Gems, and Midsommar. Its previous collaborations with HBO include Zendaya-led Euphoria.

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