EXCLUSIVE: Chris Albrecht has teamed with Boardwalk Empire creator Terence Winter and Pose executive producer Sherry Marsh for Tokyo Underworld, a crime drama set in Japan. It marks one of the first projects for Legendary Global, the television venture between Legendary and Albrecht launched in December, which is focused on developing, financing and producing premium international scripted programming.
Legendary Global has acquired the rights to Robert Whiting’s book Tokyo Underworld: The Fast Times and Hard Life of an American Gangster in Japan, with Emmy winner and Oscar nominee Winter set to write and executive produce the adaptation and Emmy nominee Marsh serving as executive producer.
Tokyo Underworld is the true story of Nick Zapetti, a streetwise 25-year-old Italian-American GI who relocated to war-ravaged Japan in the aftermath of World War 2 to become the undisputed king of the underground black market. Through a mixture of violence, cunning, and old-fashioned wit, Zapetti, along with his gang of Japanese criminals, battled the Yakuza as well as the government to become a multi-millionaire nightclub owner, diamond thief, professional wrestler and the head of the underworld in Tokyo.
Since Tokyo Underworld was published in 2000, there have been multiple attempts for screen adaptations with various auspices, including a movie at Warner Bros. and as a series at Amazon.
HBO Max is in production on another crime drama series set in Japan that is based on a book, Tokyo Vice.
Tokyo Underworldr reunites Winter with Albrecht. Winter was one of the key writer-producers on The Sopranos, shepherded by Albrecht during his tenure running HBO. Winter, who won four Emmys for his work on The Sopranos, went on to create and executive produce another mob drama for HBO, Boardwalk Empire.
Winter was nominated for an Oscar for his adaptation of Wolf Of Wall Street and co-created HBO’s Vinyl with Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger and Rich Cohen. He is repped by Jackoway Austen Tyerman.
Marsh is an executive producer on FX’s award-winning drama Pose and History’s long-running Vikings, as well as Amazon’s upcoming The Banker’s Wife. She also serves as a producer on the upcoming Universal Rock Hudson biopic All That Heaven Allows, set to be directed by Greg Berlanti. Marsh is represented by DLA Piper.