Maniac Cop, a modern adaptation of William Lustig’s 1988 cult classic that Nicolas Winding Refn and his partner Lene Børglum are producing, was set to shoot this summer in Los Angeles. Now, according to BMD, the project could be dead. The news came via Larry Cohen, who wrote the 1988 original:
“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…”
John Hyams, who directed the super fun Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning, was locked in to get behind the camera from a script by Refn and Ed Brubaker (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Angel of Death) in collaboration with Refn.
Cohen went on to elaborate, while also throwing a nasty jab at Brubaker:
“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.”
The new film was set in present day and follows a determined L.A. police officer who sets out to reveal the truth about the brutal murders of innocent people by one of her fellow cops. Børglum recent stated that Maniac Cop will not be a pure horror film but rather a contemporary and realistic action thriller.
Cohen also told the site that he did some revision work on Brubaker’s draft, indulging a little ego along the way:
“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.”
Cohen also described the plot of Brubaker’s script, which he was not a fan of:
“…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…”
Furthermore, Cohen says that, despite his misgivings with Brubaker’s draft, the majority of the blame sits at Nic Refn’s feet:
“…as far as I know, he was the one trying to get the money raised to make the picture, and he didn’t get it, so now it’s not happening. If it is, I would like to be paid, or I’m going to call my lawyer, and it’s getting shut down.”
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