Executive Producer Alan Ball has a long list of outstanding credits, particularly with HBO, having worked on shows like Six feet under the newsroom And the Westworld. Now, Poul is producing the latest series from HBO, Tokyo Vice, which covers the memoirs of journalist Jake Adelstein, who was the first American to be commissioned with the Tokyo crime in the 1990s. The series stars Ansel Elgort, Ken Watanabe, Rachel Keeler, Ella Rampf, Shu Kasamatsu, and Tomohisa Yamashita. The pilot episode was directed by veteran director Michael Mann, with JT Rogers as the show’s creator.
splash screen He spoke with Paul about what made Tokyo Vice a good fit for HBO, what Michael Mann brought to the project, as it was filmed entirely in Japan, and expectations for the show after the first season.
Screen Rant: Alan, you’ve worked on one of my all-time favorite shows, under six feet…
Alan Ball: Thank you.
Screen Rant: What makes HBO the place for something like Tokyo Vice?
Alan Ball: You know, throughout my career I’ve only been interested in storytelling that’s been character-driven and stories that are about complex, confusing, big characters trying to do the right thing and end up doing the wrong thing for all the right reasons and for these kinds of complex and sometimes more literary stories, I feel That HBO has always had an affinity, always more interested in diving deeper into the character than creating a plot for the sake of plot and so on I’ve been very fortunate to do a lot of work for them over the years.
Screen Rant: So Michael Mann’s intervention highlights the show, especially since it’s so well known, especially for Miami Vice…
Alan Ball: Yeah, yeah, there’s no resemblance there, you know that, right? [laughter]
Loud Screen: Yes, obviously. Very different offers. I’m curious what happened [Mann] Contribute to help shape Tokyo Vice In what is it?
Alan Paul: I think Jake [Adelstein] The book was there and JT Rogers, our writer, is a brilliant playwright who came up with the whole body of the season already done. But, this show, you have to be able to see it, feel it, taste it and smell it, and it has to have a really intense sensory feel to a really saturated environment and so full and that’s something Michael is very good at doing, so, in terms of setting up Tokyo, which is, in many ways, Our main character, giving Tokyo full life on screen, this is the king of things Michael has been so good at doing.
Screen Rant: And you filmed in Japan throughout the show, right?
Alan Paul: One hundred percent. One hundred percent in and around Tokyo and that never happened, I mean, for a non-Japanese show, it was never done.
Loud Screen: And you can feel that, too. Just watching the episodes you feel immersed in that environment from top to bottom-
Alan Paul: That makes me happy, because it’s easier and cheaper to shoot what you need to shoot in Tokyo and then go out and go to recreate it, whether it’s in Taiwan or in Vancouver, but we were very committed to the originality, we were very committed to filming it all in Japan and he didn’t make it Easier and didn’t make it cheaper, but I think it makes it better.
Screen Rant: There are at least 12 years of the Jake Adelstein story. What is the end game for this? Are they planned for multiple seasons or do you just shoot once and do it and see what happens. What is the overall structure the audience can expect?
Alan Ball: How far did you see, Paul?
Screen Rant: You’ve been through the third episode.
Alan Ball: Three, okay. So, the season is very active. The entire season actually takes place over a rather compressed time period. And when you get to the end of it, big things happen and the big stories shut down knowing you’re at the end, but you’re not at the end of the story. We want to continue. I won’t say twelve years, but we hope to have several more seasons to come.
Screen Rant: For this kind of show, are you trying to keep all the key players, including the creative crew, all the time?
Alan Ball: Yeah, we’ve become a very tight family. JT and I are very attached, and I don’t know if you know, but JT Rogers who created the show and was the lead writer, went to high school with Jake Adelstein. This is how this connection happened.
Screen shot: Really?
Alan Ball: Yes, they came back to Columbia, Missouri when they were both 15 years old. So, there really is some kind of family bond that ties the show together.
Check out the other Tokyo Vice Interviews with Ansel Elgort, JT Rogers and Ken Watanabe as well.
Next: Tokyo Vice Trailer reveals Ansel Elgort’s dive into the Japanese criminal underworld
Tokyo Vice It starts airing April 7 on HBO Max.
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