HBO Greenlights Maniac Cop Series From Nicolas Winding Refn

After what feels like years of starts, stops, and setbacks, Nicolas Winding Refn's update on the genre-bending Maniac Cop is finally coming together, with Deadline confirming the project will no longer be a film, but will instead be a TV series for HBO. The project was initially teased back in 2016, with Winding and John Hyams regularly offering updates about the project in the years since, despite fans being somewhat unaware of what was holding up the project. The original film was directed by William Lustig and starred Bruce Campbell, Tom Atkins, and Robert Z'Dar. There is currently no release date for the project.

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

Deadline describes the story as being "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?"

While the original film might be a campy blend of humor, horror, and action, we won't be surprised if Refn instead takes the concept and leans into the highly-debated issue of police brutality. The filmmaker's various noir tales, such as Drive and Only God Forgives, in addition to his TV series Too Old to Die Young, regularly explore worlds in which the lines between cops and criminals are routinely blurred, with this new series potentially continuing this trend.

“We’ve spent the last several years now developing this thing and… what we’re trying to do is make something that we’re taking the ideas of Maniac Cop and exploring them in a deep way," Hyams shared about the project last year. "Our hope is that this is something that people who are fans of the original will find great pleasure in what we’re doing, because if you’re into genre storytelling you’re going to be into it, but I also think we’re telling a story about something bigger than that, which is really the breakdown of society.… It’s a big story that needed a larger canvas.”

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Stay tuned for details on the Maniac Cop TV series.

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