Ken Watanabe (Godzilla: King of the Monsters) has signed on to star opposite Ansel Elgort and executive produce Tokyo Vice, a drama series for HBO Max, WarnerMedia’s upcoming streaming platform. It is based on the book by Jake Adelstein and comes from Tony-winning playwright J.T. Rogers , producer John Lesher and Endeavor Content.
Written by Rogers, based on Adelstein’s non-fiction first-hand account of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police beat, the 10-episode Tokyo Vice centers on Jake Adelstein (Elgort), an American journalist who embeds himself into the Tokyo Vice police squad to reveal corruption. It chronicles Jake’s daily descent into the neon soaked underbelly of Tokyo, where nothing, and no one is truly what or who they seem.
Watanabe will play Hiroto Katagiri, a detective in the organized crime division of the Tokyo Police Department who is also a father-figure to Jake (Elgort) throughout the series as he helps guide him along the thin and often precarious line between the cops and the world of organized crime.
Endeavor Content is the studio and will handle international sales.
Watanabe, who received a best supporting actor Oscar nomination for 2003’s The Last Samurai, most recently reprised his role as Dr. Ishiro Serizawa in Warner Bros.’ sequel Godzilla: King of the Monsters. He also is known for his role as Saito in 2010’s Inception, among other credits. He is repped by WME and Activist Artists Management, and attorney David Weber.