Maniac Cop, a TV series reimagining of the cult classic film franchise from Nicolas Winding Refn (Too Old To Die Young) and John Hyams (Universal Soldier: Regeneration), has been greenlighted by HBO, which will carry the event series in North America, and by Canal+, which has taken French rights.
The series makes the first production for byNWR Originals, an independent studio launched by Refn as an offshoot of his byNWR.com Web site. He and Hyams will executive produce and direct.
Set in Los Angeles, Maniac Cop is told through a kaleidoscope of characters, from cop to common criminal. A killer in uniform has uncaged mayhem upon the streets. Paranoia leads to social disorder as a city wrestles with the mystery of the exterminator in blue – is he mere mortal, or a supernatural force? You can watch a trailer of the film below the story.
Maniac Cop has been a long-time passion project for Refn. It was originally announced as a feature at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. A first-look deal Refn’s Rocket Nation had inked with Vendian Entertainment and Wild Bunch was to provide financing for Space Rocket’s features, starting with Maniac Cop, the initial film in a horror thriller trilogy.
Partly based on William Lustig’s 1988 cult classic, Maniac Cop was to be directed by Hyams. There was a plan to film the movie in summer 2017 in Los Angeles but that did not happen, and the project subsequently evolved into a TV series.
“I’ve always been a devoted admirer of John Hyams,” said Refn. “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”.
Refn will serve as showrunner with both Refn and Hyams directing the entire season. In addition to Refn and Hyams, executive producers are Nick Hall, Lene Borglum, Frederic Fiore, Alex Gayner, Efe Cakarel and William Lustig.
The series will be shopped by Logical Pictures to foreign broadcasters at the upcoming MIPCOM market.
The Lustig-directed 1988 slasher Maniac Cop, written by Larry Cohen, starred Tom Atkins, Bruce Campbell, Laurene Landon, Richard Roundtree, William Smith, Robert Z’Dar, and Sheree North. (watch a trailer below) It did not do particularly well at the boxoffice but eventually became a cult hit, spawning two sequels, Maniac Cop 2 (1990) and Maniac Cop III: Badge of Silence (1993).
Refn is repped by WME and Nelson Davis. Hyams is repped by Echo Lake Entertainment and Hirsch, Wallerstein.