Musical producer

Tokyo Vice Executive Producer Alan Poul on Filming in Tokyo and the Possibility of a Season 2 [Interview]

I know that this project has existed for a long time in different forms. How and when did you first get involved?

John Lesher, who is one of our executive producers, had the rights to Jake Adelstein’s book for a few years, and it was originally going to be a feature film. And then once it found its current continuing TV series form and Ansel was already attached, they asked me if I wanted to come on board because I know all the participants. I have a long history, both with episodic television and with Japan. I have worked with Japan for 30 years. I was a bit like the last to arrive, but hopefully I was able to contribute something that made the difference.

Can you tell me about the integration of Michael Mann? What was this process like? If you were the last to enter, maybe you didn’t have all the front row room.

I don’t really have the front row seat on that, except to say that obviously the moment you bring in Michael, everything changes.

How? What energy does it bring?

Michael is almost in a class of his own. He has so much stature as a filmmaker. Also, he has the background and resume to back it up. So when Michael walks into a movie, that’s – to the extent that Michael is there, that’s his movie. We had the structure and we had the script and we had a whole season of story, but as far as figuring out how to put Tokyo up there, that’s what Michael came to do.

I’ve only seen the first five episodes of the series, so I’m not sure exactly how it ends. Has there been any talk of possibly doing a second season – or if you don’t continue with these characters, maybe making it some kind of anthology set in Tokyo?

No no. I mean, we love this town. We love these people. We love these characters and we’re not ready to let them go just yet. And you’ll see when you get to the end of the season: it’s a great end. Great things are changing and it’s a great ending, but it’s also a beginning.