DMZ Is Officially a Go at HBO Max, and Here's the First Look

Rosario Dawson in DMZ, as revealed by Ava DuVernay.
Rosario Dawson in DMZ, as revealed by Ava DuVernay.
Photo: Ava DuVernay

Wonder Woman 1984 isn’t the only DC news for HBO Max this week. The streamer has just officially greenlit its adaptation of the comic series DMZ from Roberto Patino and Ava DuVernay. It stars Rosario Dawson and Benjamin Bratt, and will be presented as a four-part limited series.

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News broke last year that DuVernay and Patino would collaborate on the project, which is based on the series by Brian Wood and Riccardo Burchielli and is set in an alternate, but all-too-familiar-sounding future. Dawson plays Alma Ortega, a medic whose son goes missing when New York City is evacuated during a second Civil War. She believes he’s still in Manhattan, which is labeled a demilitarized zone (hence the title) and goes back to find him. Bratt plays a crime boss in the growing power inside the DMZ. The comic had a similar setting but different main character, instead following a male photojournalist.

Patino, best known for working on Westworld, is writing all episodes of the series and show running. DuVernay directed the pilot and is executive producing. Production on the remaining episodes will take place in 2021 but no release date has been set. To celebrate the news, DuVernay tweeted some photos from production of the pilot, which are our first look at what’s in store.

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“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,” Patino said in a 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.”

Not mentioned in the press release is backstory of DMZ co-creator Brian Wood. Wood has been accused of sexual misconduct publicly multiple times, even once a few short weeks before the original DMZ series announcement. Other companies very quickly cut ties with him and while he doesn’t seem to be directly involved here, his name will most certainly be on it having co-created the comic. It’s worth mentioning, especially in regards to a show that’s aiming to be “inspiring.”

Nevertheless, HBO Max has been doing right by DC properties and for DC fans of late (Snyder Cut anyone?) and there’s every reason to believe DMZ will be a powerful, entertaining show when it debuts.

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Entertainment Reporter for io9/Gizmodo

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DISCUSSION

The Wood matter is seriously troubling. I would like to see them address that. But also, I didn’t realize the plot would be almost entirely different. So, no Matty Roth? No reporter aspect? The journalism portrayed wasn’t that great, but it was an interesting part of the comic.