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Nicolas Winding Refn Sets ‘Maniac Cop’ Series With HBO, Canal Plus

Nicolas Winding Refn is set to take on a series adaptation of the cult film franchise “Maniac Cop,” Variety has learned.

The series will be the first production of Refn’s byNWR Originals, a part of his cultural site byNWR.com, and is created in partnership with HBO and Canal Plus. HBO will air the series in North America while Canal Plus will carry it in France.

Refn will serve as showrunner and will direct the entire series with John Hyams.

Set in Los Angeles, “Maniac Cop” is said to be told through a kaleidoscope of characters, from cop to common criminal. 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?

“I’ve always been a devoted admirer of John Hyams,” said Refn. “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 Plus. 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.”

Refn and Hyams will both executive produce as well, along with Nick Hall, Lene Borglum, Frederic Fiore, Alex Gayner, Efe Cakarel, and William Lustig. Lustig directed the three films that currently comprise the franchise. Logical Pictures will be representing the series to foreign broadcasters at the upcoming MIPCOM 2019.

Refn has primarily worked in film during his career, but recently created and directed the Amazon series “Too Old to Die Young.” His film credits include “Drive,” “Bronson,” “Pusher,” “Valhalla Rising,” and “The Neon Demon.”

Hyams’ previous directing credits include the features “Universal Soldier: Regeneration,” “Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning,” and “All Square.” He directed multiple episodes of the Syfy series “Z Nation,” including the pilot, in addition to writing multiple episodes. He also served as showrunner on Season 1 of the Netflix series “Black Summer.” His other directing credits include shows like “NYPD Blue,” “The Originals,” and “Chicago Fire.”

Refn is repped by WME and Nelson Davis LLP. Hyams is repped by Echo Lake Entertainment and Hirsch Wallerstein.

(Pictured: Nicolas Winding Refn)

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