War is coming to HBO Max.
Hot on the heels of yesterday’s Wonder Woman 1984 announcement, the quickly growing streamer dropped a second major DC announcement today when it revealed that it had given DMZ, a four-part limited event series from Emmy nominee Roberto Patino, Emmy winner and Academy Award nominee Ava DuVernay and Warner Bros. Television a series order. Based on the critically acclaimed comic book series from Brian Wood and Riccardo Burchielli, the live action HBO Max series is set to star Rosario Dawson (Briarpatch, Rent, Sin City) and Benjamin Bratt (Law & Order, Traffic) in lead roles and, like the comic, is set amid a second American civil war. Patino, who was a writer and executive producer on HBO’s Emmy-nominated Westworld, wrote the pilot, which was directed by DuVernay. Patino will write the remainder of the limited series’ episodes and will serve as showrunner. He’ll also serve as executive producer along with DuVernay when the series starts production in 2021.
DMZ will chronicle the harrowing journey of fearless and fierce medic Alma Ortega (Dawson), who sets out on a harrowing journey to find the son she lost in the evacuation of New York City after the outbreak of a second civil war which has left Manhattan a demilitarized zone (DMZ). Throwing gasoline on the flames of that conflict is Parco Delgado (Bratt), the popular—and deadly—leader of one of the most powerful gangs in the DMZ. He wants to rule this new world—and will stop at nothing to secure that outcome. In this adrenalized and expansive drama which examines a stark political and cultural divide in American society, Alma must contend with the gangs, militias, demagogues and warlords that control this lawless no man’s land. In doing so, she becomes the unlikely source of what everyone here has lost…hope.
Along with Dawson and Bratt, DMZ will star Hoon Lee (Banshee, Warrior), Freddy Miyares (When They See Us, The L Word: Generation Q) and Jordan Preston Carter (The Haves and the Have Nots).
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to bring this epic to the screen with my boundary-pushing partners at WBTV and HBO Max, a sublime cast led by Rosario and Benjamin, and my partner and friend, the inimitable and ever-inspiring Ava DuVernay,” said Patino in the announcement’s press release. “DMZ offers up an explosive playground which, more than anything else, exalts the resilience of community and the human spirit. I can’t wait to welcome the die-hard fans of the comic books and new viewers alike to this intoxicating, haunting and inspiring world.”
Added Sarah Aubrey, HBO Max’s head of original content, “DMZ’s unflinching story of a country torn apart resonates eerily and profoundly amid our current state of the union. With the powerhouse visionary team of Ava and Roberto at the helm, bringing this critically acclaimed DC gem to life promises to entertain and inspire hope.”
The DMZ comic made its debut in 2005 under the Vertigo imprint and ran for a total of 72 issues before wrapping up in 2012. Written by Wood and drawn by Burchielli, the comic, which has only become more timely since its debut, envisioned a second civil war after a collective of middle American militias revolted against the U.S. government, eventually forcing them into a stalemate with Manhattan stuck in between and being declared a DMZ. The hero of the comic was a young photojournalist named Matty Roth, who scored what he saw as a dream gig following a veteran war journalist into the heart of the DMZ. As you can imagine, things go frighteningly wrong from there.
While the release date for the DMZ limited event series is not yet known, it’ll live alongside several other acclaimed DCTV series when it does make its way to HBO Max, including Titans, Harley Quinn, Watchmen, Batwoman and Stargirl, along with previously announced TV shows set in the worlds of upcoming movies The Batman and The Suicide Squad. Yet, with its near-prescient view of modern division, it’s clear DMZ will stand apart as a powerful futuristic tale of what could happen in a society gone wrong.
So, what do you think, DC fans? Have you read the DMZ comic? Are you excited for the series? Share your thoughts on social media, and keep an eye on DCComics.com for more news on DMZ and other DCTV shows as it breaks!