HBO has picked up a series adaptation of the “Maniac Cop” film franchise from Nicolas Winding Refn, the network announced Thursday.
Set in Los Angeles, “Maniac Cop” is told through “a kaleidoscope of characters, from cop to common criminal,” according to HBO. “A killer in uniform has uncaged mayhem upon the streets. Paranoia leads to social disorder as a city wrestles with the mystery of the exterminator in blue – is he mere mortal, or a supernatural force?”
Refn will serve as showrunner, director and executive producer on the adaptation via his newly launched company byNWR Originals. “Universal Soldier” director John Hyams will also serve as an executive producer on the HBO and Canal+ series.
“I’ve always been a devoted admirer of John Hyams,” Refn said in a statement. “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.”
Executive producers on the project also include Nick Hall, Lene Borglum, Frederic Fiore, Alex Gayner, Efe Cakarel and director of the original 1988 “Maniac Cop” movie, William Lustig.
The project is the latest foray into television for “Drive” director Refn, who most recently wrote, produced and directed the Amazon series “Too Old to Die Young” starring Miles Teller. “Maniac Cop” will be the first series produced by byNWR Originals, which bills itself as “the premiere independent studio for the next generation of forward-thinking artists.” Production on the series is set to begin in Los Angeles next spring.