Send to

Park Chan-wook’s HBO original, 'The Sympathizer,' to release in April via Coupang Play

March 17, 2024 - 13:50 By Kim Da-sol
“The Sympathizer” (HBO)

HBO original series “The Sympathizer,” marking auteur director Park Chan-wook’s return to the small screen, will be available in Korea via the local streaming platform Coupang Play in April.

The exact date of the Korean release has not been confirmed, but the series will hit HBO and its streaming platform, Max, in the US on April 14.

The small-screen adaption of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same title by Vietnamese American author Viet Thanh Nguyen boasts a stellar cast that includes Oscar-winning Robert Downey Jr., who plays four different antagonist characters, Korean-Canadian actor Sandra Oh and Vietnamese-American actor Kieu Chinh.

Robert Downey Jr. is also the executive producer of the seven-part series.

“The Sympathizer” tells the story of the Captain (Hoa Xuande), a man brought up by an absent French father and a poor Vietnamese mother, who serves as a North Vietnamese mole in the South Vietnamese Army. As the war nears its end in the 1970s, he flees to the US where he joins the CIA, becoming a double agent. He then returns to Vietnam to fight for the Communist cause.

This story is adapted from the 2016 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Vietnamese-American author Viet Thanh Nguyen, who moved to the US when he was four. The novel was first published in Korea in 2018.

Korean poster for “The Sympathizer” (Coupang Play)

Park participated in “The Sympathizer” as the co-showrunner along with Don McKellar, who helms the overall process of production, script and production. Park directed the first three of the seven episodes. Fernando Meirelles directed the fourth episode, while the fifth to the seventh episodes were helmed by Marc Munden.

It is Park’s first work since winning the Best Director Award at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival with “Decision to Leave” and his second global drama series after BBC original “The Little Drummer Girl” (2018).