The live-action Tokyo Vice series is an adaptation of the book Tokyo Vice by American reporter Jake Adelstein. Tokyo Vice has streamed the trailer on the HBO Max Official YouTube channel.
According to reports, the Tokyo Vice series will premiere on HBO Max on April 7, 2022, with three episodes. Additionally, Tokyo Vice will be adding two new episodes every Thursday until the last episode airs on April 28, 2022.
Tokyo Vice will also premiere on Japan’s Wowow service on April 24, 2022. Ansel Elgort plays the protagonist and main character, reporter Jake.
Ken Watanabe plays an experienced police officer, Katagiri, while Rinko Kikuchi plays Jake’s senior reporter, Eimi Maruyama. There is also Hideaki Ito who plays the corrupt cop Miyamoto and Show Kasamatsu plays a member of the Chihara-kai yakuza group Satō.
Lastly, Tomohisa Yamashita plays the charismatic host Akira.
Other cast members include Rachel Keller, Ella Rumpf, Shun Sugata, Ayumi Tanida, Masato Hagiwara, Kōsuke Toyohara, Ayumi It, Makiko Watanabe, Yuka Itaya, and Miyuki Matsuda. The project was originally planned as a film, starring Daniel Radcliffe as Adelstein.
Ultimately, however, the project has become a 10-episode television series, with director Michael Mann without Radcliffe.
- Ansel Elgort as Jake Adelstein, an American journalist from Missouri who moves to Tokyo. The longer he stays, the more he delves into the corruption of Tokyo’s seedy underworld, where no one is as they seem.
- Ken Watanabe as Hiroto Katagiri, a detective in the organized crime division. He’s a father figure to Adelstein who helps guide him through the thin and often precarious line between the law and organized crime.
- Rachel Keller as Samantha, an American expat living in Tokyo who makes her living as a hostess of the Kabukicho district. She guides many individuals from salarymen, to high-end clients, and yakuza.
Ella Rumpf as Polina, an Eastern European expat, and a struggling new hostess at the club with Samantha. She came to Tokyo to work as a model, and got pulled into the seedy underbelly of Kabukicho.
- Rinko Kikuchi as Adelstein’s supervisor, a composite of the various colleagues and supervisors who worked with the real life Adelstein during his career.
- Hideaki Itō
- Show Kasamatsu as Sato
- Tomohisa Yamashita as Akira
The story reveals the figure of Adelstein who writes about crime and the yakuza for the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper. Adelstein eventually became entangled with the yakuza because of his work, specifically with the yakuza boss, Tadamasa Goto, and wrote about his experiences at Tokyo Vice.
Tokyo Vice was initially set up as a movie in 2013, with Daniel Radcliffe attached to star as Adelstein. Anthony Mandler was set to direct, and development was advanced enough to where a production start of mid-2014 was set. In June 2019, the project was re-purposed as a television series, receiving a 10 episode straight to series order by WarnerMedia to stream on their streaming service HBO Max. Ansel Elgort was set to executive produce the series, with J. T. Rogers writing and Destin Daniel Cretton directing the series. In October 2019, Michael Mann was hired to direct the pilot episode for the series and also serve as an executive producer of the series. The series is scheduled to premiere on April 7, with the first three episodes available immediately, followed by two episodes on a weekly basis until the season finale on April 28, 2022.
In addition to his executive producing announcement, Ansel Elgort was also set to star. In September 2019, Ken Watanabe was added to the cast. In February 2020, Odessa Young and Ella Rumpf were added to the cast. In March 2020, it was announced that Rinko Kikuchi joined the cast, and that shooting began the previous month in Tokyo. In October 2020, Rachel Keller was cast to replace Young. In September 2021, Hideaki Itō, Show Kasamatsu and Tomohisa Yamashita were announced as series regulars, with Shun Sugata, Masato Hagiwara, Ayumi Tanida and Kosuke Toyohara joining as recurring.
Principal photography on the series began on March 5, 2020. On March 17, 2020, it was announced that production had halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Tokyo. Production resumed on November 26, 2020, and concluded on June 8, 2021.