John Hyams had a new film at SXSW this year. All Square is a departure from the action movie director's usual stomping grounds, moving away from Universal Soldier sequels (like the utterly mind-melting Day of Reckoning) toward a more comedic ensemble tale revolving around a down and out bookie (Michael Kelly) who starts setting lines on local Little League baseball games. The film's a total riot, and hopefully it finds distribution soon so the rest of you can check it out (read our glowing review here).
We got lucky enough to speak with Hyams about All Square (full interview coming in the future), and - in-between talking about his TV career and potential plans for the future (he's already got another picture in the can for 2018) - snuck in a question about the Maniac Cop remake he's been set to helm for seemingly forever.
For those who don't remember (as it admittedly has been a while since any movement occured on the redux), Nic Refn (Drive) is producing a new Maniac Cop with Hyams directing and comic book madman Ed Brubaker writing. However, when we spoke to Larry Cohen at Fantastic Fest last year, he had, um, less than glowing things to say about the potential update on his subversive slasher classic (which was directed by Bill Lustig, along with its two sequels):
“As far as I know, that’s not happening anymore, and if it is, they might be trying to keep it a secret, as they’d owe me $250,000...Ed Brubaker wrote the script, and I’ve read the script, and it’s not very good. Ed Brubaker is a very good writer of comic books, I think. But if he’s written a good script for a movie, I haven’t read it.”
Well, according to Hyams, the movie is still definitely happening, as he told me (in response to a simple "what's up with Maniac Cop?"):
" ...well, it'd seem like nothing's happening, but actually quite a bit is happening with it. We've been working on it for a few years now, with some starts and stops. But it is going to happen.
Right now, Nic Refn, our producer, who is an amazing filmmaker and a really great guy - he's stuck by me this whole time and hasn't let up, which I'm deeply thankful for and inspired by - is getting everything set. But between Ed Brubaker and myself, we are developing it, and it actually just took an interesting turn recently. This is all stuff I'm going to be able to talk about a little more in the coming months, but things are definitely coming together on it. Nicolas is doing his show for Amazon right now (Too Old To Die Young) but then after that and my own series, it is going to happen."
The "series" he's describing is an eight-part Netflix show that Hyams has developed for the streaming giant, which he's going to also direct himself (so look forward to more on that soon). But as a horror fan (and a massive Hyams enthusiast) it's a huge comfort to know - somewhere down the line - we're still going to be getting his version of Maniac Cop, which sounded like it might be lost to development hell for the longest while. Stay tuned, fellow psychos.