EXCL: Nicolas Winding Refn gives an update on “MANIAC COP”


Nicolas Winding Refn, the stylish maniac behind the PUSHER movies, BRONSON and this week’s nightmarish ONLY GOD FORGIVES, is something of a hardened genre fan. Already evident in the likes of his heightened, violent films and nods like Riz Ortolani’s “Oh My Love” (from GOODBYE UNCLE TOM) on the DRIVE Soundtrack, last year brought word he had teamed with William Lustig to produce a new film in the beloved, cult MANIAC COP series.

Already the product of a great horror team-up, the original three MANIAC COP films were directed by Lustig (VIGILANTE, MANIAC) and written and produced by Larry Cohen (IT’S ALIVE, Q). Now, Refn and Lustig are looking to resurrect the killer cop tale and while speaking to FANGORIA about ONLY GOD FORGIVES, he explains, “We’re working on it as we speak. I’ve been a little bit delayed because of finishing this film and travelling around. It’s something that we’re very much prioritizing now that I’m coming to the end of this film. It opens up a whole new breathing space to concentrate on future projects.”

“I’m a huge lover of pop cinema and it was basically my relationship with Bill Lustig that led to rethinking the MANIAC COP franchise. He owns it and we basically partnered up on it to give it a spin. I’ve always loved the original films, so it was a way to revisit part of my past, but also it’s one of the few franchises that has not outstayed their welcome.”

Helming the film himself does not sound the in the cards however. “I wouldn’t be the right person to direct it purely because I have such an admiration for the original,” Refn says. “So, Bill’s film is still so fresh in my mind that I wouldn’t be the right… I mean, I’ve been approached for other remakes of other genre movies and I’ve always declined. I’m too old, because they are a part of my identity. So, to get someone that is younger—meaning somebody that maybe doesn’t have the same sensibilities connected to it—somebody who can re-envision it from their perspective.”

Keep an eye on Fango for the full interview later this week. ONLY GOD FORGIVES is out Friday, July 19.

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Samuel Zimmerman
Fangoria.com Managing Editor Samuel Zimmerman has been at FANGORIA since 2009, where fresh out of the Purchase College Cinema Studies program, he began as an editorial assistant. Since, he’s honed both his writing and karaoke skills and been trusted with the responsibility of jury duty at Austin’s incredible Fantastic Fest. Zimmerman lives in and hails from The Bronx, New York where his pants are too tight and he’ll watch anything with witches.
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