John Hyams Will Direct Nicolas Winding Refn’s Maniac Cop Remake


Three years ago, Nicolas Winding Refn announced his plans to produce a remake of the cult classic Maniac Cop. Since 2012, scrappy updates on the project haven’t instilled much confidence in the film’s eventual production, but it finally looks as if efforts are aligning to get this remake off the ground, as John Hyams is now attached to direct. Twitch scored the update from Refn himself at Fantastic Fest with Hyams confirming the news on Twitter.

If the name doesn’t ring a bell, then some of his notable works might. Two of Hyams’ most high profile titles are sequels Universal Soldier: Regeneration and Universal Soldier: Day Of Reckoning. Both efforts scored highly amongst fans of the action franchise, which bears well for his take on Maniac Cop.

The 1988 original was directed by William Lustig, who began developing this contemporary take several years ago. Early word suggested that it might be a prequel, but by the shape of things now, it’s looking to be a straight-up remake of a truly whacked-out tale. Storywise, it follows an undead cop who patrols the New York City streets doing the exact opposite of what he should: killing those who turn to him for help. Bruce Campbell co-starred in Lustig’s original as a wrongly-accused cop, and bearing in mind his propensity for revisiting past classics, he could definitely be in line for a cameo.

As for this newest version, we know that Ed Brubaker was hired to work on the Maniac Cop screenplay last year. Of course, that could be subject to change now that Hyams is situated in the director’s chair. Whoever pens the script, we’re excited to see another of Lustig’s classic ’80s properties remade – as Maniac proved that not all remakes are terrible.