DC Comics' DMZ TV Show: 9 Quick Things We Know About The HBO Max Show

DMZ DC Comics

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From executive producers Ava DuVernay, Ernest Dickerson, and Westworld's Roberto Patino, who'll also act as showrunner, DMZ is expected to be one of the most promising — and provocative — new programs of the following year. Based on the dystopian DC graphic novels of the same name, this four-part limited series, starring Rosario Dawson and Benjamin Bratt, has the sort of lofty ambitions that should entice even the most fatigued comic book fan. If you're curious to learn more about this much-anticipated mini-series, we're here to help! Here's what we know about HBO Max's upcoming DMZ.

DMZ DC #50

HBO Max’s DMZ Is A Four-Part Limited Series Based On The DC Comic Series

On the big screen, the small screen, or on streaming, comic book adaptations are all the rage these days. Therefore, it was practically a given that Brian Wood and Riccardo Burchielli's 72-issue DC series would eventually be dramatized. Sure enough, HBO Max is ready to bring the Vertigo story from the page to the screen with a four-part limited series, which is expected to premiere sometime next year. Given the material at hand, as well as the talent involved, this upcoming mini-series will surely be one of the most thoughtful, thematically compelling shows in ages — comic book-related or otherwise.

Rosario Dawson - Daredevil

The Upcoming Series Will Star Rosario Dawson And Benjamin Bratt

Playing the fierce and ferocious Alma Ortega, Rosario Dawson is a fearless leader in HBO Max's DMZ. Setting out on a harrowing journey to reconnect with her son following the rushed evacuation of New York City, Dawson is at the forefront of this dystopian drama. Joining her is Benjamin Bratt in the role of Parco Delgado, the popular — albeit deadly — leader of one of the most powerful, lethal, and ruthless gangs of Manhattan's demilitarized zone, abbreviated to "the DMZ." It sounds like this mini-series will play out like Escape from New York by way of The Purge. Hopefully, it lives up to that potential.

DMZ Comics

DMZ Is A Futuristic Dystopian Drama Set Amid A Second American Civil War

Set in the near future, DMZ takes place in a disunited America, notably as the country is embroiled in its second Civil War. With Manhattan becoming a safe zone, the nation is blown to smithereens, as the isolated remains of the fractured republic barely resemble the land that once was. Certainly, in these very politically contentious times, it's easy to see why this bold property became a hot commodity for the up-and-coming streaming service. There's a lot of biting and pointed social and political commentary to be found in this material. Hopefully, the talent involved handle it with urgent and righteous care.

Hoon Lee - Warrior

The Supporting Cast Includes Hoon Lee, Freddy Miyares, Mamie Gummer, And Jordan Preston Carter

Along with Rosario Dawson and Benjamin Bratt in the lead roles, the DMZ cast will also include Hoon Lee, Freddy Miyares, Mamie Gummer, and Jordan Preston Carter. Each actor should be familiar to TV lovers. Specifically, Lee was part of the main cast for two Cinemax shows, Banshee and Warrior, Miyares was seen in Ava DuVernay's When They See Us, as well as Showtime's The L Word: Generation Q, and Gummer had a recurring role as Nancy Crozier in CBS's The Good Wife and, later, Paramount+'s The Good Fight. Additionally, Carter is known for his performance in OWN's The Haves and Have Nots.

Westworld Season 3 Poster

DMZ's Showrunner Is Emmy-Nominated Westworld Scribe Roberto Patino, Who Wrote Every Episode

While TV lovers might be divided about the later seasons, there's no denying that HBO's Westworld is one of the buzziest shows of the last few years. With its pulpy premise, heady concepts, thoughtful commentary, starry performances, crisp photography, and top-notch production design, the expensive and expansive sci-fi blockbuster remains one of the most visually dexterous shows on television. It makes a lot of sense, then, that HBO was keen to bring on one of the Westworld's key players for this newest high-concept series. Specifically, Roberto Patino, a two-time Emmy-nominated writer, will serve as the showrunner for DMZ — thus guaranteeing that the promising streaming adaptation will be another intriguing, intellectually stimulating show under HBO's brand.

Ava DuVernay - CBS Interview

The Upcoming Streaming Series Comes From Executive Producer Ava DuVernay, Who Directs The Pilot

As the Oscar-nominated filmmaker behind Selma, 13th, and Netflix's When They See Us, Ava DuVernay is one of the most exceptional filmmakers working today. Through her stirring vision and powerful voice, the director has made some of the most compelling movies and shows of the last decade. Therefore, DMZ is certainly in safe hands, as DuVernay is attached to direct the pilot. The first episode was shot back in early 2020, though the remaining episodes have stayed in limbo due to the pandemic. While it's a shame that DuVernay is only attached to the premiere, her involvement — both as a director and executive producer — should prove that this promising show will be one of the most anticipated new programs of the year, whenever it makes its way to HBO Max.

Ernest Dickerson from "Advice from Ernest Dickerson, ASC" YouTube video

The Remaining DMZ Episodes Will Be Directed By Ernest Dickerson

Following Ava DuVernay's pilot, the following three episodes of DMZ will be helmed by executive producer Ernest Dickerson, a.k.a. Ernest R. Dickerson, who has plenty of film and TV experience. As a cinematographer, Dickerson was behind the lens of several famous Spike Lee joints, including Do the Right Thing, Mo' Better Blues, She's Gotta Have It, Jungle Fever, and Malcolm X. Also, he shot Eddie Murphy: Raw, The Brother from Another Planet, and many episodes of Law & Order and Tales from the Darkside.

Furthermore, as a filmmaker, Ernest Dickerson called the shots on Juice (which he also co-wrote), Bulletproof, Surviving the Game, Blind Faith, Bones, and Ambushed. As a TV director, additionally, Dickerson is behind several episodes of The Wire, The Walking Dead, Treme, Dexter, Bosch, and Interrogation. He also directed episodes of House of Cards, The Man in the High Castle, The Deuce, Burn Notice, ER, CSI: Miami, Weeds, Godfather of Harlem, and The L Word. Moreover, Dickerson helmed Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight. With such a vast and varied career, the director has proven his talents many times over. Hopefully, this upcoming DC show should be no exception.


Production Is Scheduled To Begin Later This Year

Over the course of the past year-and-a-half, various films and shows have been held in a tentative position. Hollywood is finally at a place where it can safely and securely (relatively speaking) host bubbled productions — with many procedures and provisions in place. It's not a perfect science, of course, but it has allowed Hollywood to put previously back-burner projects in front of cameras. That's ultimately the case for HBO Max's DMZ. Following a delayed start date, the comic book adaptation is now set to start shooting this fall — presumably with a fall date in mind. Details remain limited on that front, but as the production nears closer, we'll have a better idea of what's in store.

DMZ Comic Cover

Roberto Patino Is Excited To Welcome Die-Hard Fans And Newbies Alike To ‘This Intoxicating, Haunting, And Inspiring World’

When it comes to adapting this thoughtful, intricate, daring, and provocative DC comic series to the small screen, Roberto Patino knows that there are plenty of expectations, especially from long-time fans. Likewise, the showrunner knows that he'll need to entice viewers who have seen many, many, many comic book adaptations over the past few years. With that said, Patino is excited to welcome die-hard fans and newbies alike to this "intoxicating, haunting, and inspiring world." Here's what he said in a press release:

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. 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.

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Will Ashton

Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.