Prolific filmmaker Ava DuVernay is doubling down on DC. The Queen Sugar creator is set to direct a pilot based on the Vertigo comic series DMZ for HBO Max. The potential show will add another DC hero to DuVernay's pile as she is already serving as co-writer and director for the feature film The New Gods based on the comic series of the same name.
"DMZ" ran under DC's Vertigo imprint from 2005 to 2012 under writer Brian Wood with artwork by Wood and Riccardo Burchielli. It is set in a futuristic world after a second American civil war left Manhattan a demilitarized zone, hence the name. The television series will follow a female medic who saves lives while she desperately searches for her son in the destroyed city that's now isolated from the rest of the world. Throughout the series, she goes against gangs, militia, demagogues and warlords in the lawless land.
Ava DuVernay's career has exploded since she directed the Oscar winning film Selma which followed Martin Luther King, Jr's landmark march in 1965. The film pulled in an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture and a win for its music. She followed Selma's success with the powerful and hailed documentary 13th that took a deep look at racial inequality in America. Her ambitious take on A Wrinkle in Time earned mixed reviews, but it put her on the map for more big-budget work. Recently, DuVernay directed, wrote and produced the TV Mini-series When They See Us which pulled in 16 Emmy nominations, multiple dedicated to her. The series earned an award for Lead Actor for Jharrel Jerome as well as Outstanding Casting. Like much of her other work, When They See Us takes a hard look at injustice through a true story of five teens that are falsely accused of a brutal attack.
Although it is just a prospective pilot, I can't help but be excited with the names that are attached. DMZ is coming from showrunner and executive producer Roberto Patino who is most known for producing and writing on Kurt Sutter's Sons of Anarchy and The Bastard Executioner as well as HBO's breakout series Westworld. All three series carry an other-worldly feel with shocking violence and extreme drama rooted in complex characters, and in the case of Westworld, an actual manufactured world. So with this edge and DuVernay's politically-charged eye, HBO has put the right pieces in place for another unique and captivating show.
This announcement comes during a time bursting with streaming platforms. Like most other streamers, Warner Bros as been preparing for their new HBO Max by developing a ton of content and scooping up a ton of creators with overall deals. Both DuVerney and Patino currently hold overall deals with WBTV. HBO Max awaits a handful of other pilots it ordered in August. These include a "Rules of Magic" adaptation, a project from Lena Dunham and a YA psychological horror series from executive producer John Wells. This news comes to us from Variety