This is based on the 2009 memoir of real-life American journalist and crime writer Jake Adelstein, who has spent a good amount of his career in Japan. Elgort (also an executive producer here) plays Jake in this Tokyo-shot series that’s loosely inspired by real events, following the young journalist as he looks into Tokyo’s organised crime in the late ’90s. Watanabe plays detective Hiroto Katagiri, who works in the Tokyo Police Department’s organised crime division and becomes a type of father figure to Jake as he explores the dark and dangerous world of the Japanese yakuza.
The series comes from writer/creator J.T. Rogers, who previously penned HBO Max-released film Oslo. The pilot episode was directed by Michael Mann, the Ali and Heat filmmaker who was an executive producer and writer on the – unrelated – ’80s series and 2006 film Miami Vice. Also directing: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings helmer Destin Daniel Cretton and Hikari (37 Seconds).
Joining Elgort and Watanabe in the cast are Rachel Keller, Ella Rumpf, Rinko Kikuchi, Hideaki Ito, Shun Sugata, Show Kasamatsu, Tomohisa Yamashita, Masato Hagiwara, Kosuke Toyohara, and Ayumi Tanida.
Tokyo Vice will be kicking off with a three-episode premiere on HBO Max on April 7th, with two episodes dropping every Thursday until the episode 10 finale drops on April 28th.