I think before Best Picture winner Parasite made Bong Joon-ho the most recognizable name in South Korean cinema, that honor would’ve gone to Oldboy director Park Chan-wook. Since his English-language debut Stoker in 2013 and The Handmaiden in 2016, all we’ve seen from him is the limited event series The Little Drummer Girl. But now Chan-wook is back and with another TV series, this time an adaptation of Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pultizer Prize-winning book, The Sympathizer.
Nguyen took to social media to break the news that Chan-wook would be directing The Sympathizer as a series produced by A24.
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
The story centers on an anonymous half-Vietnamese, half-French man who acts as a communist spy after coming to the United States, and follows his journey from the fall of Saigon, to refugee camps and relocation in Los Angeles, to his time as a film consultant in the Philippines, and eventual imprisonment in Vietnam.
It’s unclear when or where we’ll see The Sympathizer, but we can guess that streaming options will be lining up to acquire it. Chan-wook’s name holds a lot of cred, and this has awards-contender written all over it.
Next up for Chan-wook is the South Korean mystery film Decision to Leave, which hopefully will arrive this year.