Maniac Cop lives! After years of development on a remake of the 1988 cult slasher classic, Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, Too Old To Die Young) has finally closed a deal to bring the franchise to the modern age. The catch? It's being turned into a TV series for HBO, as opposed to a movie. John Hyams (Universal Solider: Regneration, Dragon Eyes) is also on board to co-direct the series alongside Refn.
According to a new report, HBO has picked up domestic rights for a Maniac Cop TV Show, while Canal+ has locked the show down in France. The series is being produced by Nicolas Winding Refn's byNWR Originals production company. In addition to directing the entire series, Nicolas Winding Refn and John Hyams will also serve as producers. Refn had this to say about the project in a statement.
"I've always been a devoted admirer of John Hyams. We've been talking about a re-imagining of the Maniac Cop films for a number of years, but as we continued to work on the material, we found ourselves wanting to explore the world we were creating in greater depth.
Turning Maniac Cop into a series will allow us to realize our wildest ambitions and to reach an enormous audience though partners HBO and Canal+. This show will be an unadulterated, action-packed horror odyssey. Given the current state of the world, though, Maniac Cop will also be a strong commentary on the decline of civilization."
This new take on Maniac Cop will be set in Los Angeles and will be told "through a kaleidoscope of characters, from cop to common criminal." The series will follow a killer in uniform who has unleashed mayhem in the streets of LA. Paranoia over the killings leads to social unrest as a city wrestles with the mystery of who this killer cop actually is. The report states that it will be "partly" based on William Lustig's original movie. Given that it's being expanded to a TV series, there will certainly be room to broaden the scope.
The Maniac Cop remake has been an on-again, off-again thing for some time now. The earliest whispers of this project date back to 2012. It was formally announced as a movie in 2016 at the Cannes Film Festival and, at one point, was scheduled to shoot in Los Angeles. However, production fell apart and in September 2017, franchise creator Larry Cohen declared the remake was dead in the water, only for John Hyams to later claim the project was alive and well.
In any event, things have worked themselves out. There is no word on when production will begin, nor is it clear how many episodes the season will consist of. The original Maniac Cop was released in 1988 and starred Tom Atkins and Bruce Campbell. It went on to spawn two sequels, 1990's Maniac Cop 2 and 1993's Maniac Cop III: Badge of Silence (1993). We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further details on the series are made available. This news comes to us via Deadline.