It’s going on two years since Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, The Neon Demon) first announced plans to produce a modern-day remake of Maniac Cop, at which time John Hyams and Ed Brubaker (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) were brought on board to hash out a script.
But if Larry Cohen is to be believed, those plans have since unraveled, after the screenwriter told Birth.Movies.Death that the mooted project is no longer moving forward. Having pitched the screenplay for the original Maniac Cop back in ’88, one would assume Cohen has it on good authority that Refn’s remake has been scrapped. Not only that, but during his interview with BMD, the scribe revealed his strong feelings toward the proposed redo.
As far as I know, that’s not happening anymore, and if it is, they might be trying to keep it a secret, as they’d owe me $250,000…Ed Brubaker wrote the script, and I’ve read the script, and it’s not very good. Ed Brubaker is a very good writer of comic books, I think. But if he’s written a good script for a movie, I haven’t read it.
Turns out Larry Cohen also fine-tuned that initial treatment from Ed Brubaker, which seemingly wasn’t up to snuff – at least, that’s according to Cohen himself, who is of the belief that if he penned the script for Refn’s Maniac Cop remake, it’d “probably be happening.”
I wrote six new scenes for the picture, based on what I’d read. And, had I written the whole script, the movie would probably be happening, as the script would be good. I wrote three films for Bill Lustig, though they changed a lot of [Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence] and Bill got fired from it…and I would’ve written the fourth movie, had they asked. But they didn’t, and now it’s not getting made.
Take from that what you will, but the writer-producer concluded by offering some insight into his alternative pitch, which would have resulted in a slightly different take on the titular character.
It’s a lot like that Bob Hoskins movie [Neil Jordan’s Mona Lisa (’86)], where he’s driving prostitutes around and then waiting out in the car while they do their business in hotels with the Johns. It’s a direct lift from that, and then turns into a new Maniac Cop…
Looks like Maniac Cop won’t be getting the remake treatment after all, eh? But what do you make of Cohen’s comments? You can, as always, leave your thoughts, comments, and concerns via the usual place.