Nicolas Winding Refn’s ‘Maniac Cop’ Remake Snags John Hyams To Direct

It’s flashback time, kiddies, so grab your Dramamine and bid one last farewell to your loved ones…just in case you don’t make it back.

April 2012: visionary Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn, hot off the critical and commercial success of his stylishly violent (or is that violently stylish?) thriller Drive and possessing of the power to do whatever he pleased, took up the cause of mounting a remake of William Lustig‘s 1988 cult classic action-horror hybrid Maniac Cop. At first it was rumored that Refn might also direct, but those plans didn’t come to fruition. Lustig would also be serving as a producer on the remake alongside the screenwriter of the original, B-movie maverick Larry Cohen. Things go quiet. Refn moves on to direct Only God Forgives. Cut to black…

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‘Maniac Cop’ Remake Finds Its Screenwriter In Comics Scribe Ed Brubaker

It’s been two years since it was first announced that filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, Only God Forgives) had signed on to produce a continuation of sorts of the 1988 cult horror-action classic Maniac Cop. It was rumored at the time that Refn might even direct the film as well, be it a prequel or sequel. Following the release of that news the project went cold, though Refn’s unabashed love of the original and its two sequels resulted in his teaming up with William Lustig, the director of Maniac Cop and its vastly superior 1990 sequel, for an audio commentary that accompanied last year’s top-notch Blu-ray release of Maniac Cop 2 (a disc I highly recommend by the way).

Now it appears that the new Maniac Cop film is back on and it is officially a remake with Refn and Lustig producing. The French distribution and international sales company Wild Bunch will be announcing it as part of a slate of upcoming features they’re expected to unveil at next week’s Cannes Film Festival. Among them is a sequel to last year’s surprise hit Spring Breakers scripted by Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh and new films from controversial filmmakers Paul Verhoeven (Robocop, Starship Troopers) and Gaspar Noé (Irreversible).

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‘Drive’ Director Nicholas Winding Refn May Produce and Direct a ‘Maniac Cop’ Prequel

The 1988 action-horror flick Maniac Cop remains a cult favorite after more than two decades for several reasons, not limited to its badass cast of schlock legends — Tom Atkins, Robert Z’Dar, Richard Roundtree, William Smith, and a young Bruce Campbell in his first leading role outside the Evil Dead movies — and its memorable tagline: “You have the right to remain silent. Forever.” The movie also gave horror fans who were growing tired of the slasher shenanigans of Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger a new unstoppable super killer to root for: Matt Cordell (Z’Dar), a dedicated New York cop who was wrongly convicted, killed in prison, and returned from the dead hungry for vengeance.

The original Maniac Cop was successful enough to spawn two sequels before the would-be franchise petered out in the early 1990s. Now it looks like Officer Cordell is coming back to screens hardcore and he’ll have a major filmmaking talent in his corner.

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The Top 10 Bruce Campbell Performances

Bruce Campbell. The man, the myth, the mighty chin.

In the realm of cult cinema there is no greater name than his. Bruce embodies all the great qualities we look for in our cinematic icons: talent, personality, wit, charisma, humility, grace, and honesty. He may never be accepted in the Hollywood circles like so many before him who got their start in B-movies and then forgot about where they came from, because Bruce will never betray his roots or his massive, well-deserved international fanbase. Any movie he’s part of, be it a clever cameo (the Spider-Man movies) or a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it bit part (the last shot of Darkman, The Demolitionist, several recent Coen Brothers flicks), is all the better for his presence alone, but Bruce has more acting talent than his extensive resume of Sci-Fi channel flicks, failed television shows, and countless convention appearances would reveal to the uninitiated.

Here’s a list of Bruce’s 10 best performances in film and television, in the humble opinion of this writer.

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