Following the lockdown of Tokyo-based productions, Michael Mann and HBO’s series Tokyo Vice has resumed shooting overseas. The pilot episode had finished about a third of its shooting schedule before production was shut down, with Mann in the director’s chair for the pilot.
Tokyo Vice is based on the memoir of the same name by Jake Adelstein. An American-born reporter, Adelstein became one of the first foreign journalists admitted to the Tokyo Metro Police’s reporters’ club. His book chronicles the culture shock of working and living in Japan, as well as the underworld he toed while reporting on violent crime and yakuza activities in the ’90s. For Mann’s adaptation, the official summary seems close to Adelstein’s account:
A riveting true-life tale of newspaper noir and Japanese organized crime from an American investigative journalist. Jake Adelstein is the only American journalist ever to have been admitted to the insular Tokyo Metropolitan Police Press Club, where for twelve years he covered the dark side of Japan: extortion, murder, human trafficking, fiscal corruption, and of course, the yakuza. But when his final scoop exposed a scandal that reverberated all the way from the neon soaked streets of Tokyo to the polished Halls of the FBI and resulted in a death threat for him and his family, Adelstein decided to step down. Then, he fought back. In Tokyo Vice he delivers an unprecedented look at Japanese culture and searing memoir about his rise from cub reporter to seasoned journalist with a price on his head.
Starring Ansel Elgort, and Ken Watanabe, Rachel Keller is now set to replace the leading role previously occupied by Odessa Young. Conflicts of schedule are cited as the reason for Young’s departure from the project.
News also broke that Wowow, one of Japan’s top premium TV broadcasters, has also joined Tokyo Vice as a co-producer. Michael Mann executive produces as well, with the series’ scripts coming from JT Rogers.
Michael Mann’s last job directing was 2015’s Blackhat, which met with a lukewarm response from our own Matthew Razak. Looking to move on from Blackhat, Mann is set to return to feature filmmaking with an Enzo Ferrari biopic, which is currently set to star Hugh Jackman. Expect to hear more on the Ferrari film once Mann’s directing duties wrap on Vice.
No stranger to stylish urban crime thriller’s Tokyo Vice could be the return to form for Michael Mann he’s due. Time will tell, with Tokyo Vice expected to premiere on HBO Max sometime next year.
Source: The Film Stage