EXCLUSIVE: Rachel Keller (Dirty John) has been cast in a lead role opposite Ansel Elgort and Ken Watanabe in HBO Max’s upcoming drama series Tokyo Vice from executive produce Michael Mann, who is directing the pilot episode.
Keller will play Samantha. The role has been recast after Odessa Young, who originally was tapped for the part, pulled out due to scheduling conflicts. Such cast changes have become a regular occurrence as the coronavirus pandemic-related Hollywood shutdown has wrecked havoc on film and TV production schedules.
Tokyo Vice had just begun filming its first episode in Tokyo at the beginning of the year when the escalating coronavirus outbreak shut down production. The series now plans to restart shooting in late November.
Created and written by J.T. Rogers based on Jake Adelstein’s nonfiction book, Tokyo Vice is a firsthand account of a young American journalist (Elgort) working the Tokyo Metropolitan Police beat.
Keller’s Samantha is an American expat living in late-’90s Tokyo who makes her living as an upscale club hostess in the alluring and wild district of Kabukicho, deftly navigating both salarymen, high-end customers and the Japanese Yakuza on a nightly basis. Sexy, wry, fluent in Japanese — she keeps Jake and everyone else continually in play. In addition to Elgort and Watanabe, Keller joins cast members Ella Rumpf and Rinko Kikuchi.
Executive producing the series are Rogers, Mann, Alan Poul, Jake Adelstein, Elgort, Destin Daniel Cretton, Watanabe as well as John Lesher, who had optioned the book. Emily Gerson Saines is co-executive producing. Endeavor Content serves as the studio and is handling international sales.
In addition to her co-starring role on the second season of Dirty John, Keller’s series credits include Legion, Fargo and The Society. She is repped by UTA, Suskin Management, and Independent Talent Group.