Park Chan-Wook to helm A24’s series adaptation of The Sympathizer
A24 has acquired the rights to author Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer-winning debut novel The Sympathizer. The acclaimed studio has teamed up with Rhombus Media to develop the series adaptation of said novel, which centers around a Communist spy during the Vietnam war. Nguyen took to Twitter to also announce that award-winning South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-Wook has officially signed on to helm the project. This marks Park’s second TV series as the director after over two years since BBC One’s The Little Drummer Girl.
Thrilled to finally announce that @A24 has optioned THE SYMPATHIZER for TV, with director Park Chan-wook, whose films include THE HANDMAIDEN. His OLDBOY was a big influence on THE SYMPATHIZER, and I can’t imagine a better person to direct this TV adaptation with @rhombusmedia!
— Viet Thanh Nguyen (@viet_t_nguyen) April 7, 2021
First published in 2015 by Grove Press, The Sympathizer centers around a half-French, half-Vietnamese man who served as a spy for Communist forces during the Vietnam War. The novel follows the unnamed protagonist as he experiences the final days of the historical war, lives in exile in Los Angeles and continues to move throughout Southeast Asia.
Since its debut, it immediately earned positive reviews from critics and has won a number of awards in 2016 including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the Edgar Award for Best First Novel and the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. After six years, Nguyen has also recently published the novel’s second installment titled The Committed.
Park Chan-Wook is best known for his critically-acclaimed films such as Joint Security Area, Thirst, and The Handmaiden as well as the most notably known The Vengeance trilogy which consists of Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy, and Lady Vengeance. All said films garnered Park international recognition with Old Boy winning the Grand Prix Award at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.