The ensemble cast for the upcoming HBO Max pilot Tokyo Vice, with the pilot being directed by Michael Mann (Collateral), has expanded with the addition of Pacific Rim and Westworld alum Rinko Kikuchi in a primary role, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
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Kikuchi has signed on to star as a supervisor to star Ansel Elgort’s reporter Jake Adelstein and was reportedly cast by Mann after the director pushed back hard against producer John Lesher, who reportedly had concerns over her English abilities albeit her bilingual skills.
The series is based on the 2009 memoir by Adelstein and will be adapted by Tony-winning playwright J.T. Roger, producer John Lesher and Endeavor Content. Elgort is 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 follows 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.
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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.