WarnerMedia has ordered the crime thriller Tokyo Vice, starring Ansel Elgort, to series, according to Variety. The show is based on Jake Adelstein’s 2009 memoir titled Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan, in which he chronicles his time living in Japan as the first American journalist working for the Yomiuri Shimbun, one of the country’s largest newspapers. The series follows the American journalist Jake Adelstein’s (Elgort), “daily descent into the neon-soaked underbelly of Tokyo, where nothing and no one is truly what or who they seem.” In order to investigate “the dark side” of Japanese society, Adelstein “embeds himself into the Tokyo Vice police squad to reveal corruption,” Deadline reports.
“Jake Adelstein is the only American journalist ever to have been admitted to the insular Tokyo Metropolitan Police Press Club, where for twelve years he covered the dark side of Japan: extortion, murder, human trafficking, fiscal corruption, and of course, the yakuza. But when his final scoop exposed a scandal that reverberated all the way from the neon-soaked streets of Tokyo to the polished Halls of the FBI and resulted in a death threat for him and his family, Adelstein decided to step down. Then, he fought back. In Tokyo Vice, he delivers an unprecedented look at Japanese culture and a searing memoir about his rise from cub reporter to a seasoned journalist with a price on his head” according to Penguin Random House.
Adelstein’s memoir was previously scheduled for a feature adaptation in 2013, with Rogers writing the screenplay based on a story written by him and Adelstein, with Lesher producing together with Adam Kassan. Anthony Mandler was set to serve as the director of the film, and Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter, Imperium, Miracle Workers) was set to star as Adelstein, Deadline has learned. According to The Daily Mail, “the project fell apart and filming never took place, leading to the adaptation shifting to the small screen.”
Elgort (Baby Driver, The Fault in Our Stars, Divergent) is also shooting Steven Spielberg’s upcoming film remake of West Side Story and starring in The Goldfinch, together with Nicole Kidman, Sarah Paulson, and Finn Wolfhard, which is set to premiere on Sept. 13. Tokyo Vice is Elgort’s first television role.
J.T. Rogers (Oslo) serves as the writer and Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12, Glass Castle) serves as the director. John Lesher, Elgort, and Emily Gerson Saines will executive produce. Cretton will also serve as director for Marvel Studio’s upcoming movie Shang Chi, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The 10-episode series will premiere on WarnerMedia’s forthcoming streaming service, which is expected to go live in the fall.