Nicolas Winding Refn and William Lustig are producing the project, which has been in development since 2012. The script is written by prolific comic book writer Ed Brubaker.
Hyams, who directed “Universal Soldier: Regeneration” and “Universal Soldier: Day Of Reckoning,” told Variety that he came on board to direct after Lustig sought him out.
“I’m a huge admirer of both producers and I’d been looking to do something that bridges the gap between action and horror like this,” he said. “The script is able to re-invent the original with the same mythology. We had thought about shooting in the fall, but we decided on the spring to give ourselves enough time to get the best cast and crew.”
The 1988 original, directed by Lustig, follows a murderous cop who returns from the dead to patrol the New York City streets and kill those who turn to him for help. It starred Tom Atkins, Bruce Campbell, Laurene Landon, Richard Roundtree, William Smith, and Robert Z’Dar as the title character.
It grossed less than its $1.1 million budget but was followed by “Maniac Cop 2” in 1990 and “Maniac Cop III: Badge of Silence” in 1993.
The new “Maniac Cop” will probably have a budget in the $5 million to $6 million range with a shoot of about 25 days. Hyams said he’s become accustomed to working quickly without massive budget after directing nine episodes of Syfy’s “Z Nation.”
“I feel as if I’m in fighting shape,” he added.
Refn is a Danish film director, screenwriter and producer with credits on “Bronson,” “Valhalla Rising,” “Drive” and “Only God Forgives.”
Brubaker and illustrator Sean Phillips won the Eisner Award for “Criminal” as best new comic series in 2007. Brubaker also won Eisner awards for writing in 2007, 2008 and 2010 for his work on “Captain America,” “Daredevil” and other titles and won a limited series award last year for “Criminal: The Last of the Innocent.”
Hyams is repped by Echo Lake Management. TwitchFilm first reported the news about Hyams coming on board.