HBO Max’s Tokyo Vice lands Ken Watanabe for key role
Variety has brought word that the upcoming HBO Max police drama Tokyo Vice has found an A-list performer to star alongside Baby Driver‘s Ansel Elgort in the form of Godzilla: King of the Monsters star Ken Watanabe.
The series is based on the 2009 memoir by Jake Adelstein and will be adapted by Tony-winning playwright J.T. Roger, producer John Lesher and Endeavor Content. Elgort pulling double duty as executive producer alongside John Lesher, Emily Gerson Saines, and Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12, Shang-Chi).
Roger will pen the scripts, which are based on Adelstein’s non-fiction first-hand account of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police beat. Elgort will play an on-screen version of the author, an American journalist who embeds himself into the Tokyo Vice police squad to reveal corruption, chronicling his daily descent into the neon-soaked underbelly of Tokyo, where nothing is what it seems.
Watanabe, also known for his roles with Christopher Nolan on Batman Begins and Inception as well as The Last Samurai and Detective Pikachu, has signed on to play Hiroto Katagiri, an organized crime detective in the Tokyo Police Department who acts as a father figure to Elgort’s Jake and helps guide him along the thin line between the cops and the world of organized crime.
This marks the second original series for the platform along with the anthology Love Life from creator Sam Boyd, which is produced by Paul Feig and Jessie Henderson of FeigCo Entertainment. In addition to this pair of originals, the forthcoming platform has been bidding on projects and mining the Warner Bros. library for content.
Elgort will next be seen in the upcoming feature The Goldfinch, also has landed a lead part in Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story. Tokyo Vice marks his first TV role.
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