Provocative film director Nicolas Winding Refn (The Neon Demon) first touted a remake of Maniac Cop—and the launch of what would become a new film trilogy—at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, but in the quiet years since the announcement has pivoted and instead developed the remake into an expansive television series for HBO. Working with John Hyams (Universal Soldier: Regeneration) Refn will share showrunner and directing duties, while the series will become the first production from Refn’s independent studio, byNWR Originals, an offshoot of his streaming platform,

Inspired by the cult slasher film trilogy featuring a cop out to avenge his wrongful death, the original Maniac Cop starred Tom Atkins (Night of the Creeps), Bruce Campbell (The Evil Dead) and Robert Z’Dar (Tango and Cash), among many other genre fan favorites, and featured a screenplay by Larry Cohen (Q: The Winged Serpent) and appropriately sleazy direction by William Lustig (Maniac).


Updating the violently lurid material from the grit and grime of late ‘80s New York City, Refn and Hyams are also planning to broaden the grindhouse scope significantly.

Deadline teases the synopsis for the television series:

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?

“I’ve always been a devoted admirer of John Hyams,” Refn said. “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”.

HBO will air the series in North America and Canal+ will do so in France. Details on casting and premiere dates are pending.


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