‘The Sympathizer’ Trailer: Park Chan-wook’s post-Vietnam War Spy Series Hits HBO This April

There’s a lot happening in this trailer for The Sympathizer, one of the most anticipated new series coming from HBO this year. Anticipated because it’s from A24 and director Park Chan-Wook, the South Korean filmmaker behind Oldboy, in his first series effort since The Little Drummer Girl in 2018. An adaptation of Viet Thanh Nguyen‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, it’s something of a spy caper exploring the post-Vietnam War era with a critical and satirical eye.

Chan-wook co-created the series with Don McKellar, and exec-produces as well as directs each of the seven episodes. Robert Downey Jr., also a producer, has a role but the real lead is Hoa Xuande as The Captain, a half-French half-Vienamese communist spy whose divided loyalties are constantly tested. Fred Nguyen Khan, Toan Le, Phanxine, and Vy Le. Ky Duyen, Kiue Chinh, Duy Nguyen, Alan Trong, and Sandra Oh also star.

Here’s the synopsis: Based on Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name, THE SYMPATHIZER is an espionage thriller and cross-culture satire about the struggles of a half-French, half-Vietnamese communist spy during the final days of the Vietnam War and his new life as a refugee in Los Angeles, where he learns that his spying days aren’t over.

The Sympathizer premieres on HBO and Max on April 14th.

Travis Hopson
Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.