According to The Hollywood Reporter, Michael Mann has expanded the cast of his long-in-the-works HBO Max drama Tokyo Vice, with Japanese actors Hideaki Ito, Show Kasamatsu, and Tomohisa Yamashita joining Rinko Kikuchi, Ella Rumpf, Rachel Keller, and stars Ansel Elgort and Ken Watanabe. Now, before you question the appearance and general existence of Ansel Elgort, we should point out that Tokyo Vice is based on the memoir of American writer Jake Adelstein, who covered the crime beat for Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun for 12 years. We’re not defending the fact that the Western entertainment industry believes that every story that isn’t necessarily about white people needs to have a white person at the center, we’re just pointing out why that seems to be the case here. (This doesn’t seem to be a Last Samurai-style fictionalization, or at least not as much of one.)
Elgort is playing the American journalist, Kikuchi is playing a Japanese journalist (presumably one who works with Elgort’s character), and Watanabe is playing a police, detective in Tokyo. At least some of the other people in that list up above are playing criminals, which are kind of a crucial aspect to a crime show. Also, Adelstein’s book mentions that an alleged crime boss threatened to have him killed over a story he wrote as a journalist, so one of those people is surely going to be the crime boss. Maybe it’ll be Watanabe? That’d be a good twist.
Tokyo Vice was created by playwright J.T. Rogers, and Mann will direct the pilot and serve as an executive producer. The Hollywood Reporter story doesn’t say who will direct the other nine episodes of this 10-episode series, but we assume they will be less famous than Michael Mann. There’s no word on when it might premiere on HBO Max, but the series has been in the works for as long as we’ve known about HBO Max.