The outstandingly trashy cult classic Maniac Cop—made in 1988 by legendary B-movie director William Lustig, and starring the singular Robert Z’Dar—has been threatened with getting a remake for some time, with John Hyams (The Originals, Z Nation) directing from a script by comics writer Ed Brubaker. And it just got a huge boost.
Lustig and Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, Valhalla Rising, Only God Forgives) are still set to produce, but there’s another factor that makes the Maniac Cop remake an intriguing one: it’ll be the first project in a new partnership between Winding Refn, Vendian Entertainment, and Wild Bunch to help develop and fund works by “edgy and innovative commercial filmmakers,” according to Deadline.
The film, which will begin shooting this summer, will take place in Los Angeles (rather than New York City), though the basic story sounds about the same as Larry Cohen’s original script, per Deadline:
This iteration follows the story of innocent people who are brutally murdered on the streets of Los Angeles by a uniformed police officer. As the death toll rises and the LAPD attempts a cover-up, one determined female cop sets out to reveal the truth.
Two suggestions as Maniac Cop rolls toward production: first, get Bruce Campbell, who co-starred in the original, to sign on. (Maybe even as the title character this time?) And then, make everyone involved watch Wild Bunch’s recent remake of Lustig’s other sleazy masterpiece, 1980's Maniac—featuring a wildly miscast Elijah Wood—as a primer on what not to do this time around.