Neon-drenched exploitation director/fan Nicolas Winding Refn has been trying for years to get a remake of William Lustig’s perversely dark Maniac Cop off the ground. In the past, that ambition took the form of a full-on cinematic reboot—we wrote about Refn securing funding for such a project back in 2017—but now it appears to have morphed into a TV series, one that HBO has just given a green light to.
Working in association with French TV producer Canal+, Refn will serve as showrunner on the series, an expansion of the original film’s vision of a world in which a possibly undead police officer takes out his wrath on a society that has betrayed and abandoned him. And if that sounds a lot more fraught in 2019 than it did in 1988, well…Yeah, pretty much. But while Refn’s track record doesn’t suggest he’ll necessarily be tasteful or careful with this extremely loaded material he’s been pursuing for years, it does at least promise to be an interesting conflagration.
Refn will direct the series, alongside Universal Soldier: Regeneration’s John Hyams, who had previously been tapped to direct the film version of the project. There’s no word yet on casting; the original starred such B-movie luminaries as Bruce Campbell and Robert Z’Dar.