As the American experiment hurdles wildly towards oblivion with each passing day, HBO Max has decided what we all need right now is a limited series about a modern-day civil war. The streaming service has ordered a DMZ limited series, based on the comic series of the same name. The show hails from Roberto Patino and Ava DuVernay and stars Rosario Dawson and Benjamin Bratt.
Back in 2019, when we were all so young and naive, HBO Max ordered a pilot for DMZ, based on the comic originally created by writer Brian Wood and artist Riccardo Burchielli, with Ava DuVernay at the helm. Now, HBO Max has gone ahead and given the show a limited series order, with Roberto Patino serving as writer and showrunner. Patino and DuVerany also serve as executive producers, with production expected to begin in 2021.
The story deals with a second American civil war, something that feels less and less like speculative fiction every single day. Here’s the synopsis:
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.
“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 Roberto Patino. “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.”
Sarah Aubrey, head of original content, HBO Max, added: “DMZs’ 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.”
In addition to Dawson and Bratt, the series stars Hoon Lee, Freddy Miyares, and Jordan Preston Carter. I haven’t read the comic, but I’m told it’s very good. And the material here certainly sounds like it could make for some compelling TV. But with America currently embroiled in non-stop insanity and hopelessly deadlocked tribalism, I don’t know if I’ll have the stomach to ever watch this anytime soon. Your milage may vary.
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