Vendian Entertainment and Wild Bunch have partnered with Nicolas Winding Refn’s Space Rocket Nation in a multi-year first-look deal which will also serve as an incubator for edgy and innovative commercial filmmakers. Under the pact, the alliance will have a first option to provide financing for Space Rocket’s features, helmed by Refn and other directors. The first pic to be financed and produced under the new agreement is Maniac Cop, the initial film in a horror thriller trilogy.
Parlty based on William Lustig’s 1988 cult classic, Maniac Cop will be written by Ed Brubaker (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and directed by John Hyams (Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning). This iteration follows the story of innocent people who are brutally murdered on the streets of Los Angeles by a uniformed police officer. As the death toll rises and the LAPD attempts a cover-up, one determined female cop sets out to reveal the truth. Wild Bunch previously was involved in a loose remake of Lustig’s 1980 Maniac, which starred Elijah Wood.
Refn and Lustig will be creative producers on Maniac Cop, with Refn’s longtime partner Lene Borglum producing. Although he isn’t directing, this marks a further step into the horror genre for Refn,l whose The Neon Demon premieres in competition here at Cannes this week. Vendian Entertainment, Wild Bunch and Refn also partnered on that film, which was part of a two-picture deal the director had with Wild Bunch and Gaumont.
The project will be co-financed by Bold Films and shoot in Los Angeles this summer. Wild Bunch is selling international rights. Refn is represented by WME and Independent Talent Group. Hyams is repped by Echo Lake Managment and Paradigm. CAA, which reps Vendian, arranged financing for the deal.