Originally announced as a feature at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, Neon Demon) and John Hyams (Universal Soldier: Regeneration) have been developing a new take on William Lustig's 1988 cult classic Maniac Cop, and Deadline now reports that the project has been greenlighted by HBO as a television series.
Refn and Hyams will both executive produce and direct, with Refn also serving as showrunner. The series will be the first production for byNWR Originals, an independent studio launched by Refn as an offshoot of his byNWR.com.
"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," 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."
HBO will carry the event series in North America and Canal+ has taken French rights. Nick Hall, Lene Borglum, Frederic Fiore, Alex Gayner, Efe Cakarel and Lustig himself will also executive produce.