National

‘Harry Potter’ star to feature in ‘Tokyo Vice’ yakuza thriller

by Tomohiro Osaki

Staff Writer

Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe will star in “Tokyo Vice,” a thriller featuring a real-life American journalist who explored Japan’s underworld, according to a joint statement released by the movie’s producers, John Lesher and Adam Kassan.

Radcliffe will play Tokyo-based reporter Jake Adelstein, author of the 2009 book “Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan.” In it he details his experiences as a staff writer at the Yomiuri Shimbun covering the yakuza and other aspects of criminal life.

Directed by Anthony Mandler and coscripted by renowned playwright J.T. Rogers and Adelstein himself, the film, scheduled for worldwide release early next year, will spotlight Adelstein’s intrepid investigations into the Japanese mafia, including his confrontation with yakuza kingpin Tadamasa Goto, nicknamed “the John Gotti of Japan.”

Adelstein’s efforts came at a high personal cost, including death threats as he unearthed money laundering and human trafficking crimes.

“I think it’ll be a fairly accurate portrayal of Japan and organized crime in the country, and what is good about Japanese society and what is bad, with a lot of emphasis on the fact that there are many Japanese people and cops with a strong sense of honor,” Adelstein told The Japan Times. Adelstein, 44, now a freelance writer, contributes a monthly column to The Japan Times Sunday Timeout section.

Adelstein said the role will be a good change for Radcliffe, who developed an innocent image as the hero wizard Harry Potter. “He’s mature enough to deal with the role as a journalist,” Adelstein said, noting the British actor is now 23, about the same age he was when he started at the Yomiuri Shimbun.