JT Rogers & Alan Poul on making a crime series in Japan

Poul also talks about working on Black Rain in Tokyo in the early ’90s and how Tokyo Vice faced some of the same challenges while filming in Japan.

alan poul jt rogers tokyo vice social

I know you keep hearing about new shows you need to watch. I hear about new shows from friends and colleagues almost every day. And while I know you’re being bombed all the time… need to add Tokyo Vice on your list as soon as possible. Written by a Tony Award-winning playwright JT Rogers and inspired by The memoirs of 2009 Tokyo Vice: An American reporter on the police crackdown in Japan from Jake Adelsteinthe series stars Ansel Elgort as a young American journalist (based on Adelstein) who moves to Japan in the late 1990s to work for a major newspaper in Tokyo. While trying to figure out how everything works before losing his job, he befriends a detective from the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department (Ken Watanabe), who refuses to be bought in a city where many are corrupted by money. Filmed entirely on location in Tokyo, the crime drama series will keep you guessing. Tokyo Vice also stars Rinko Kikuchi, Rachel Keller, Ella Hull, Hideaki Ito, Sho Kasamatsuand music star Tomohisa Yamashita. Additionally, Michael man directed the pilot and his work is fantastic.


Shortly after watching a few episodes, I spoke to JT Rogers and the producer-director Alan Poul. During the interview, they talked about how they decided to do an eight-episode season, how they hope to continue the series, and what would surprise people if they found out about the making Tokyo Vice, what it was like filming the entire show in and around Tokyo, and how the COVID shutdown helped make the series better. In addition, Poul spoke about the work Ridley Scott‘s Black Rain Early 90s in Tokyo and how Tokyo Vice faced some of the same challenges.

Tokyo Vice Ansel Elgort and Ken Watanabe
Image via HBO Max

RELATED: “Tokyo Vice’s Ansel Elgort and Ken Watanabe on creating a series in Japanese and English and what sequence they’ll always remember

Check out what they had to say in the player above, and below is exactly what we talked about.

Alan Poul and JT Rogers

  • Poul talks about work Black Rain Tokyo in the early 1990s. He talks about how some of the challenges they had making this film were the same challenges they faced Tokyo Vice.
  • How did you decide on eight episodes of the season?
  • Are you hoping for more seasons?
  • Has the shutdown due to COVID helped make the show better because they had more time to work on the scripts and prep?
  • What would surprise people if they learned about the creation Tokyo Vice?
  • What’s it like telling a story about the Yakuza?
  • How they had ex-members of the Yakuza as advisors on the series.


‘Tokyo Vice’ Review: A gripping series that lives in the moments between acts of violence

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About the author

https://collider.com/tokyo-vice-creator-jt-rogers-producer-alan-poul-interview-crime-series-japan/ JT Rogers & Alan Poul on making a crime series in Japan

Jake Nichol

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