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Tokyo Vice Release Date, Cast, And Episodes - What We Know So Far

Before Michael Mann directed cinema classics like "Heat" and "Collateral," he was perfecting his craft in television working behind the scenes on series like "Starsky & Hutch" and "Miami Vice." The director is now returning to his roots with HBO Max's upcoming "Tokyo Vice." Starring Ansel Elgort as a crime reporter working in Japan, "Tokyo Vice" looks and sounds like a proper continuation of Mann's fascination with criminal underworlds and those driven to visit them. 

Based on the true story of reporter Jake Adelstein, the show will also mark Mann's first directorial effort for the public in seven years. His last feature, "Blackhat," was released in 2015 and disappointed at the box office (per Box Office Mojo). While Mann has dabbled in television since moving on from "Miami Vice," such as producing one season of "Robbery Homicide Division" and directing the pilot for HBO's "Luck," "Tokyo Vice" marks his biggest splash in the TV arena in decades. HBO Max has released a trailer for the series, giving fans a look at Mann's neon-loving take on the Yakuza and the Tokyo crime beat. The footage already has fans buzzing, and with that in mind, here's everything we know about the show's release date, cast, and plot. 

When will Tokyo Vice be released?

"Tokyo Vice" will premiere on HBO Max on April 7, with the pilot episode directed by Michael Mann. The series follows crime reporter Jake Adelstein getting caught up in Tokyo's criminal underbelly. The trailer for the series promises the sort of pulse-pounding action and conspiracies we've come to expect from Mann, but the Tokyo setting certainly gives it a different enough feel, with Ansel Elgort called upon to switch between English and Japanese. Of course, a sword fight is also teased. 

"Tokyo Vice" has been in development for some time with HBO Max and was even their second series order ever in 2019 (via Deadline). Besides counting Mann as a director and producer, the show comes from Tony-winning playwright J.T. Rogers. The series is loosely based on the nonfiction book from Adelstein about working the crime beat in Tokyo, where the show was filmed on location. Many episodes of the series were also directed by "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" filmmaker Destin Daniel Cretton. 

Who is in the Tokyo Vice cast?

"Tokyo Vice" has a unique cast as a series taking place and filmed in Tokyo, but from the perspective of an American reporter. "West Side Story" actor Ansel Elgort as protagonist Jake headlines the cast, but the most recognizable face may be that of "Godzilla" star Ken Watanabe as the weathered Hiroto Katagiri, a detective in Tokyo's organized crime unit who appears to be trying to give advice to Jake and take him under his wing in the trailer. Other cast members include Rachel Keller as Samantha, Rinko Kikuchi as a fellow reporter, and Hideaki Ito as another Tokyo cop (via Anime News Network). 

Elgort is an executive producer on the show (along with Watanabe), but he was not the original choice to play Jake. "Tokyo Vice" was first set up as a film in 2013 and was set to star "Harry Potter" lead Daniel Radcliffe (per The Hollywood Reporter). Music video and "Monster" director Anthony Mandler was originally going to direct, but the entire project was revamped as a 10-part series in 2019 when HBO Max made the show one of its first splashy orders. 

How many episodes will Tokyo Vice have?

On April 7, HBO Max will release the first three "Tokyo Vice" episodes to their subscribers. While audiences can binge those initial hours, subsequent episodes are being released week-to-week. After April 7, two episodes of "Tokyo Vice" will be released on the following Thursdays until the season finale becomes available on April 28 (per Variety). In total, "Tokyo Vice" was greenlit for 10 episodes, meaning fans will need to wait through the month of April if they want to truly binge the series from start to finish. 

Jake Adelstein's "Tokyo Vice" book was released all the way back in 2009 and the series was greenlit in 2019, but production dealt with COVID-19 delays like many others have over the last couple of years. "Tokyo Vice" had to pause filming in 2020 due to the pandemic (per The Hollywood Reporter). Filming shut down after only six days in March of 2020, but resumed in October and concluded in June of last year, Michael Mann told Japan House Los Angeles