Tokyo Vice, the upcoming HBO Max drama series executive produced by Michael Mann, has found a Japanese partner. Premium pay-TV broadcaster Wowow has come on board the project as a co-producer, taking all rights for Japan.
This comes as the show, for which Mann is directing the pilot, returns to production after the Covid-19 shutdown this week.
The deal was struck by Endeavor Content, which is producing and handling international distribution, with Wowow’s Kayo Washio, who runs the company’s Los Angeles office.
Tokyo Vice began filming in the Japanese capital earlier this year but went on hiatus in March. Mann recounted the experience to Deadline in an interview in May.
The latest move also comes three weeks after Deadline revealed that Dirty John’s Rachel Keller had been cast in a lead role opposite Ansel Elgort and Ken Watanabe after Odessa Young was forced to pull out due to Covid-19 rescheduling issues.
Mann exec produces alongside Emily Gerson Saines, Alan Poul, Jake Adelstein, Elgort, Destin Daniel Cretton, Watanabe, Brad Caleb Kane, Washio and John Lesher.
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. Elgort stars as Adelstein as he embeds himself into the Tokyo Vice police squad to reveal corruption. The series chronicles Adelstein’s daily descent into the sordid underbelly of Tokyo, where nothing and no one is truly what or who they seem.
Watanabe stars as a Tokyo police detective, Rinko Kikuchi as a journalist, Keller as an American expat making her living as an upscale club hostess, and Ella Rumpf who plays a hostess at the same club.
Washio said, “Tokyo Vice is a true passion project for me as I’ve had my eyes on the material for quite some time and trusted business relationships with some of the key players involved for an even longer period of time. It is the type of story that deserves and necessitates the pedigree of creative talent assembled to bring it to life. Wowow is proud to be involved in a series that hits close to home for us, literally, and figuratively, and has such a gifted team bringing it all together. Ultimately, we believe this will be an event series that audiences in Japan, and throughout the world will be hooked into.”
Prentiss Fraser, EVP International TV Sales at Endeavor Content, added, “It’s an honor to collaborate with Wowow on Tokyo Vice. Ensuring authenticity and being true to Japanese culture and society were top priorities for our team. To have a local partnership to ensure this vision is truly valuable and we look forward to creating many seasons together.”