The Stop and Frisk initiative in New York is about to get a whole lot scarier. The Maniac Cop remake is finally getting ready to shoot on location in the city, with production kicking off in the spring of 2016. John Hyams, best known for his Universal Soldier sequels Day of Reckoning and Regeneration, is directing. Cult favorite director Nicolas Winding Refn, the man behind 2011's Drive starring Ryan Gosling, will produce alongside William Lustig.
Maniac Cop has been in development since 2012. The screenplay is being penned by prolific comic book writer and raconteur Ed Brubaker. John Hyams says that William Lustig, the man who directed the original Maniac Cop trilogy, specifically sought him out for the role. The director explains.
"I'm a huge admirer of both producers and I'd been looking to do something that bridges the gap between action and horror like this. The script is able to re-invent the original with the same mythology. We had thought about shooting in the fall, but we decided on the spring to give ourselves enough time to get the best cast and crew."
William Lustig directed the original Maniac Cop in 1988, and then continued the series in 1990 with Maniac Cop 2, and in 1993 with Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence. The horror franchise follows the plight of a murderous cop who returns from the dead. He patrols the streets of New York, killing anyone who seeks his help. The original starred Bruce Campbell, Tom Atkins, Laurene Landon, Richard Roundtree and William Smith. Robert Z'Dar would take on the iconic role of the Maniac Cop.
The Maniac Cop reboot is budgeted at $5 million to $6 million, and will shoot for 25 days. John Hyams previous directed 9 episodes of Z Nation for Syfy, which he credits with teaching him how to work very quickly under a very small budget. About the upcoming production he had this to say to Variety.
"I feel as if I'm in fighting shape.
Maniac Cop doesn't have a set release date, but it likely won't be in theaters until 2017. It isn't known if this will be a much more serious take on the material, or if it will retain some of its camp aspect. No cast has been announced at this time. The biggest casting decision will be replacing Robert Z'Dar in the title role. Z'Dar passed away earlier this year, succumbing to cardiac arrest. And he literally leaves behind an enormous jaw to fill.