HBO Orders Maniac Cop TV Series From Nicolas Winding Refn


1988’s Maniac Cop isn’t exactly what you’d call a horror classic, but you can’t deny that there’s a certain something about its grungy grindhouse charms that just pulls you in. Over the past few decades, it’s gradually found itself becoming a cult classic (having Bruce Campbell in it probably also helps) and now, proving once again that a good horror property can never stay dormant for too long, Deadline is reporting that Drive director Nicholas Winding Refn is adapting the film for television for a new series to air on HBO.

The 1988 original followed an undead cop who roams the streets of New York City killing those who look to him for help. As for this new take, it’ll be an event series that’ll follow much the same path story-wise and has been described by those in charge of it as “an unadulterated, action-packed horror odyssey.” Sound good to us!

Refn will serve as showrunner and also direct along with Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning‘s John Hyams. Speaking about the project, the Drive helmer said the following:

“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.”


Given the current extremely charged political climate, a show featuring a former cop returned from the dead as a homicidal monster will definitely turn some heads, and considering how much anger there is these days about police discriminating against African Americans, a post-BLM Maniac Cop can definitely say something important about our society.

Not to mention that this has been a passion project for Refn for a while now and he’s spoken about some of his ideas for it many times in the past, and they all sound pretty interesting. As long as they can get a solid cast in front of the camera and a strong writing team, this Maniac Cop event series might be another big winner for HBO.