Apparently, our favorite Park Chan-Wook (Oldboy, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Thirst, Stoker, The Handmaiden) was pleased with his work on the small screen with The Little Drummer Girl, because a few days ago we learned that he was preparing a new TV project. Writer Viet Tan Nguyen has announced that Park will direct an A24-produced series, an adaptation of his Pulitzer Prize-winning debut novel, The Sympathizer. Nguyen wrote on Twitter:
I’m excited to finally announce that A24 has taken over the TV rights to The Sympathizer, directed by Park Chan-Wook, whose films include The Handmaiden. His Oldboy was a great inspiration for The Sympathizer and I can’t imagine a better person to direct this TV adaptation with Rhombus Media… I hope Park Chan-Wook, who worked wonders with Oldboy, shows the same creative imagination in The Sympathizer.
Published in 2015, The Sympathizer tells the story of a man, half French, half Vietnamese, who spied for Vietnam during the Vietnam War. After the end of the conflict, the man was exiled to Los Angeles and found himself torn between his past beliefs and his newfound life in America. The spy remains unnamed throughout the novel, from the fall of Saigon, through the refugee camps, his relocation to the United States, and his role as a film consultant in the Philippines to his return to Vietnam. and his imprisonment.
And we join Viet Tan Nguyen in his assessment that Chan-wook Park is the ideal director to lead the film. The Sympathizer bears the hallmarks of many types of stories – immigrant, political, historical, spy and military, as well as mystery, meta prose and black comedy, which Park has successfully considered in his work so far. We have no doubt that once again he will offer us something excellent.
It is assumed that Park Chan-Wook will start with The Sympathizer immediately after the end of the filming of the super expected erotic noir-mystery Decision to Leave. There is no other information about the project yet, but we will follow its development closely and keep you informed about everything more interesting, starting with which streaming platform will host the series and of course which will be the other names in the creative team.
Finally, we offer you the official synopsis of the novel The Sympathizer.
April 1975 and Saigon is in chaos. In his villa, a general from the South Vietnamese army drinks whiskey and, with the help of one of his loyal captains, prepare a list of people who will get a seat onboard the last planes leaving the country. The general and his countrymen begin a new life in Los Angeles, unaware that in their ranks the captain is secretly watching them and reporting on their actions to the Viet Cong leadership. The Sympathizer is the story of this captain – a man with an absent French father and a poor Vietnamese mother who is studying at a university in America but returns to Vietnam to fight for the communist cause.