With production on the DMZ pilot first starting before the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic shut down TV and film sets around the world, HBO Max has finally made a move on the series and ordered it to be a four-part limited event series. Emmy nominee Roberto Patino, who wrote the pilot, will pen the other three episodes and showrun the series which had its first episode directed by Emmy winner and Oscar nominee Ava DuVernay. Rosario Dawson ("Briarpatch," "Rent," "Sin City") and Benjamin Bratt ("Law & Order," "Traffic") lead the cast of the futuristic drama which is set amid a second American civil war and is based on the comic series published by DC. DMZ originally ran for 72 issues from 2005 to 2012, and was one of Vertigo's more prominent titles in the 2000s.
"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 statement. "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."
"'DMZ's' unflinching story of a country torn apart resonates eerily and profoundly amid our current state of the union," Sarah Aubrey, head of original content, HBO Max, added. "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 series' official description reads: "In the near future, America is embroiled in a bitter civil war, leaving Manhattan a demilitarized zone (DMZ), destroyed and isolated from the rest of the world. Leaping off the pages of the popular comic, "DMZ" chronicles the harrowing journey of fearless and fierce medic Alma Ortega (series star Rosario Dawson), who sets out on a harrowing journey to find the son she lost in the evacuation of New York City at the onset of the conflict. Throwing gasoline on the flames of that conflict is Parco Delgado (series star Benjamin 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."
Joining Dawson and Bratt the series also includes 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"). Production on the remaining episodes is scheduled to begin in 2021.