This site has had a wild ride with Nicolas Winding Refn's Maniac Cop.
The first article connecting Refn (Drive, The Neon Demon) to the franchise appeared on this site alllll the way back in 2012, when news broke that Refn had signed on to produce a new Maniac Cop movie. Then, five years later, we learned that the Refn-produced Maniac Cop was a go, with John Hyams directing and a script co-written by Refn and Ed Brubaker.
Ah, but then, just a few months later, Larry Cohen (writer of the original Maniac Cop) told us that the project was most sincerely dead. Six months after that? John Hyams told us that, no, Maniac Cop was still happening. It was at this point that most of us threw up our hands, resigned to the idea that no one - up to and including the people involved with the new Maniac Cop - had any idea what was actually happening with the project.
Which brings us to today's news: according to Deadline, Maniac Cop is now a TV series, one which will be produced by Refn's byNWR Originals, directed by both Refn and John Hyams, and carried by HBO and Canal+. They're describing the series thusly:
"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?"
And here's what Refn's saying:
“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”.
You'll note that there's no mention of Ed Brubaker in the above. Could be he'll still be contributing to the scripting of the series, we suppose, but until we get clarification on that, we're gonna assume he's moved on from the project. That'd be a shame, to be sure, but even if that's the case: there's a lot to be excited about here! Refn and Hyams? On HBO? With this property? And it's being designed to operate as both a piece of social commentary and an "unadulterated, action-packed horror odyssey"? Folks, this thing's gonna be gnarly as hell, and we can't wait to see the final product.
No word on how far along in development Maniac Cop is, when it'll start shooting or who might end up starring in the thing (off the top of our heads, we'd love to see Michael Shannon in the titular role), but rest assured that we'll be keeping you informed on all of that as further updates roll in. Stay tuned.