‘Tokyo Vice’: Creator J.T. Rogers & Producer Alan Poul on Making a Crime Series in Japan

‘Tokyo Vice’: Creator J.T. Rogers & Producer Alan Poul on Making a Crime Series in Japan – I know you’re always hearing about new shows you should watch. Almost every day, I hear about new shows from friends and colleagues. And, while I understand that you are constantly besieged, you must add Tokyo Vice to your list as soon as possible. The series stars Ansel Elgort as a young American journalist (based on Adelstein) who moves to Japan to work for a major newspaper in Tokyo in the late 1990s, and is written by Tony Award-winning playwright J.T. Rogers and inspired by Jake Adelstein’s 2009 memoir Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan.While attempting to figure out how everything works before losing his job, he befriends a Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department detective (Ken Watanabe), who refuses to be bought in a city where many are corrupted by money. The crime drama series, which was shot entirely on location in Tokyo, will keep you wondering. Rinko Kikuchi, Rachel Keller, Ella Rumpf, Hideaki Ito, Sho Kasamatsu, and music artist Tomohisa Yamashita all star in Tokyo Vice. Michael Mann also directed the pilot episode, and his work is outstanding.

I spoke with J.T. Rogers and producer-director Alan Poul shortly after watching a few episodes. They discussed how they decided on an eight-episode season, how they plan to continue the series, what people might be surprised to learn about the making of Tokyo Vice, what it was like filming the entire show in and around Tokyo, and how the COVID shutdown helped make the series better during the interview. Poul also discussed working on Ridley Scott’s Black Rain in Tokyo in the early 1990s and how Tokyo Vice encountered some of the same issues.

Check out what they had to say in the player above, and then scroll down to see what we discussed.

J.T. Rogers and Alan Poul

  • Poul recalls working on Black Rain in Tokyo in the early 1990s. He discusses how some of the obstacles they had while making that film were similar to those they faced while making Tokyo Vice.
  • How did they come up with the number of episodes for the season of eight?
  • Are they planning to develop more seasons?
  • Did the show improve as a result of the COVID downtime because they had more time to work on the scripts and prepare?
  • What information regarding the making of Tokyo Vice would surprise people?
  • What does it feel like to narrate a Yakuza story?
  • They used ex-Yakuza members as consultants on the series.

Leave a Comment