Japanese Stars Join Ansel Elgort in ‘Tokyo Vice’ Series for HBO Max and Wowow

Japanese stars Ito Hideaki (“Tokkai”), Kasamatsu Sho (“Flowers and Rain”) and Yamashita Tomohisa (“The Man from Toronto”) have joined the cast as series regulars on “Tokyo Vice.” The series is backed by streaming service HBO Max, Japanese pay-TV leader Wowow and Endeavor Content.

The Japanese and English-language crime drama series boasts a previously announced headline cast that includes Ansel Elgort, Ken Watanabe, Rachel Keller, Ella Rumpf and Kikuchi Rinko.

The series is loosely inspired by American journalist Jake Adelstein’s 2009 memoir, “Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan.” The series was created and written by Tony-winning playwright J.T. Rogers. Michael Mann directed the pilot episode. Destin Daniel Cretton (“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”) also directs.

Portrayed by Elgort in the series, Adelstein was the first foreigner working the crime beat for a Japanese newspaper and spent 12 years there. His book was first published in 2009 and has been translated into multiple languages. John Lesher optioned the book nine years ago and has spearheaded development and production.

The series recounts Adelstein’s first-hand account of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police beat as he embeds himself into the Tokyo vice squad to reveal corruption. The series chronicles Adelstein’s daily descent into the sordid underbelly of Tokyo, where nothing and no one is truly what or who they seem.

Ito plays Miyamoto, a vice detective who is great at his job and knows it. Kasamatsu plays Sato, a Chihara-Kai crime family member, while Yamashita portrays Akira, a professional host who is not as honest as he seems.

Other new cast additions include: Sugata Shun as Ishida, the leader of the Chihara-kai Yakuza group; Hagiwara Masato as Duke, the manager of the upscale hostess club; Tanida Ayumi as Tozawa, the leader of the Tozawa-gumi Yakuza group; and Toyohara  Kosuke as Baku, a supervisor of the newspaper company where Jake, played by Ansel Elgort, works.

Mann also serves as executive producer with J.T. Rogers, Emily Gerson Saines, Alan Poul, Jake Adelstein, Elgort, Cretton, Watanabe, Brad Caleb Kane, Washio Kayo, and Lesher.

The completed series will stream exclusively on HBO Max in the U.S in early 2022. Wowow will stream and air the series in Japan in Spring 2022. Endeavor Content handles global distribution.