Call us cynical, but we knew that a Maniac Cop remake was coming. No, we had no inside information, it's just that Hollywood's running short on high-profile 1980s properties and Maniac Cop was one of the best ones left, and it's just obscure enough to allow for a fresh take on the material. But we didn't expect it would attract top notch talent: the original film's screenwriter and director, Larry Cohen and William Lustig, have just revealed that Nicolas Winding Refn, the director of one of 2011's most acclaimed films, Drive, is attached to produce a new version of Maniac Cop.
The original film starred Bruce Campbell as a cop framed for a series of homicides committed by a man in a police uniform, who goes on the run to clear his name and reveal the identity of the true "maniac cop," who may be supernatural in origin. Directed by the great William Lustig and written by the arguably greater Larry Cohen, the film has a respectable cast of 1980s genre stars – Tom Atkins, Robert Z'Dar and even Sam Raimi in a short cameo – and plays great today, thanks in part to a recently-released Blu-ray edition from Synapse. But they're not just going back to the same well for the remake.
In an exclusive interview with Daily Grindhouse (via Bad Ass Digest), Larry Cohen revealed, "It’s going to be more a prequel than anything else, I am really excited to come back to this world especially since Nick is going to be a part of it […] Nick [Winding Refn] has been talking to us about it for a while now and I had an idea that would work so we’re going to do it."
Cohen goes on to add that the deal isn't secure yet, so we hope that talking about it doesn't jinx anything. With a little luck someone in charge will see that the fans actually care and, with this talent involved especially, is eager to see what could come of this. It's a pity that Refn isn't attached to direct, but after films like Drive and Bronson we're confident that he has excellent taste. Is he a 1980s b-movie fan? Would he go after Tom Atkins, Bruce Campbell or Robert Z'Dar cameos?
CraveOnline will be back with more Maniac Cop remake news even though we have the right to remain silent… forever.