It appears that the Maniac Cop reboot isn't happening anymore according to series creator Larry Cohen. A new documentary entitled King Cohen, about the genre legend Larry Cohen premiered over the weekend and Birth Movies Death was able to sit down with the subject of the documentary to discuss a variety of topics. But the most interesting topic by far was definitely the news about the Maniac Cop reboot not happening, and Cohen's colorful thoughts about its existence to begin with.
Cohen wrote the original Maniac Cop for the New York City grindhouse kingpin Bill Lustig in addition to two sequels. The action horror movie is about an ex-cop who returns from the dead to pursue his former co-workers. Critics panned the movie when it originally came out in 1988, but it gained a hardcore cult following and a reboot has been talked about for years after the final installment was released in 1993. For the past few years, Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive) has been actively producing a remake of Maniac Cop with John Hyams (Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning) and Ed Brubaker (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) writing the script.
The remake of Maniac Cop would prove to stir up quite a controversy in the current political climate, which may have led to the reason why production has apparently stalled. When asked about the reboot, Cohen had this to say.
"As far as I know, that's not happening anymore, and if it is, they might be trying to keep it a secret, as they'd owe me $250,000..."
Right away, Cohen does not seem very pleased with the project at all, money issues aside. The script was written by genre favorites Refn and Brubaker, but it apparently wasn't up to snuff according to Cohen, who went out of his way to throw some shade in Brubaker's direction. Cohen had this to say.
"Ed Brubaker wrote the script, and I've read the script, and it's not very good. Ed Brubaker is a very good writer of comic books, I think. But if he's written a good script for a movie, I haven't read it."
The reboot of Maniac Cop takes place in present day and follows a determined Los Angeles police officer who sets out to reveal the truth about some brutal murders of some innocent people by one of her fellow police officers. The reboot was not intended to be a work of horror, but more of a realistic action thriller. Cohen apparently wasn't very pleased with the story direction and mentioned that he wrote some new scenes for the movie. Cohen explains.
"I wrote six new scenes for the picture, based on what I'd read. And, had I written the whole script, the movie would probably be happening, as the script would be good. I wrote three films for Bill Lustig, though they changed a lot of Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence and Bill got fired from it...and I would've written the fourth movie, had they asked. But they didn't, and now it's not getting made."
To seemingly put the last nail in the coffin for the Maniac Cop remake, Cohen concludes his thoughts by throwing most of the blame at Refn. Cohen had this to say.
"As far as I know, he was the one trying to get the money raised to make the picture, and he didn't get it, so now it's not happening. If it is, I would like to be paid, or I'm going to call my lawyer, and it's getting shut down."
So, there you have it. No Maniac Cop remake straight from the creator's lips. Filming was to have started this summer, which obviously did not happen. Though Cohen says that the project is dead, it sounds like some money could make the project rise from the dead, much like Maniac Cop.