Tokyo Vice, Michael Mann, HBO Max

Michael Mann’s last directorial outing arrived five years ago with BLACKHAT, a thriller starring Chris Hemsworth, and fans have eagerly been awaiting the director’s next project ever since. It was announced late last year that Mann would be executive producing and directing the pilot for Tokyo Vice, an HBO Max crime series based on Jake Adelstein’s non-fiction book.

Production on Tokyo Vice kicked off earlier this year in Japan, but as with just about every project out there, COVID-19 brought the shoot to a halt. It wasn’t clear if production would resume, but we’ll be getting our Michael Mann fix after all as it’s been announced that Tokyo Vice will be returning to production this week. Tokyo Vice stars Ansel Elgort (WEST SIDE STORY) as a journalist covering the crime beat in Tokyo who finds himself running afoul of a major crime boss. The series also stars Ken Watanabe (GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS) as a Tokyo detective, Rinko Rikuchi (PACIFIC RIM) as a fellow journalist, Rachel Keller (Legion) as an American expat working at an upscale club, and Ella Rumpf (RAW) as a hostess at the same club. The production has also found a Japanese partner in Wowow, a premium pay-TV broadcaster who has come on board as a co-producer and will take all the rights for Japan. In a statement, Wowow’s Kayo Washio said:

Tokyo Vice is a true passion project for me as I’ve had my eyes on the material for quite some time and trusted business relationships with some of the key players involved for an even longer period of time. It is the type of story that deserves and necessitates the pedigree of creative talent assembled to bring it to life. Wowow is proud to be involved in a series that hits close to home for us, literally, and figuratively, and has such a gifted team bringing it all together. Ultimately, we believe this will be an event series that audiences in Japan, and throughout the world will be hooked into.

Tokyo Vice was created and written by playwright J.T. Rogers and will chronicle Adelstein’s (Elgort) descent into “the sordid underbelly of Tokyo, where nothing and no one is truly what or who they seem.” Tokyo Vice doesn’t have an official release date just yet, but I’ve got my fingers crossed that it’ll be worth the wait.

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