Nicolas Winding Refn Sets ‘Maniac Cop’ Series at HBO

     October 11, 2019

Filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn made a colorful splash into the world of television with his Amazon series Too Old to Die Young earlier this year, but he’s now already setting up his next TV project: a new adaptation of the Maniac Cop slasher movie franchise.

Per Deadline, Refn and John Hyams (Universal Soldier: Regeneration) will spearhead an event series version of Maniac Cop for HBO and Canal+, with the latter scoring the French rights to the show. The project will be a production of NWR Originals, an offshoot of the Drive director’s site that aims to produce original content. Both Refn and Hyams will executive produce and direct the entire first season, with Refn serving as showrunner.


Image via Amazon Studios

Released in 1988, Maniac Cop was a slasher movie about a murderous ex-cop who rises from the dead and seeks revenge on those who wronged him. The movie was a bust, but became a cult classic and spawned two sequels released in 1990 and 1993, respectively.

Refn has been developing a new version of Maniac Cop since 2016, which he originally intended to craft as a feature directed by Hyams.

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

Too Old to Die Young was something of a bust, with Refn himself even admitting he didn’t care if people didn’t watch the entire season of the series (Amazon only provided two episodes from the middle of the season to critics for review). He’s a curious filmmaker to be sure, but with 2016’s The Neon Demon serving as his most recent feature film, it sounds like Refn’s core interests are in the realm of television for the time being.