Ava DuVernay Turning DC's 'DMZ' Comic Book Into A Series For HBO Max

Director Ava DuVernay is already preparing to head into the world of comic books with an adaptation of the DC Comics property New Gods, and things must be going well on the project in development because she just struck a deal to adapt another title from DC Comics.

HBO Max has ordered a pilot directed and executive produced by Ava DuVernay that will adapt the comic book DMZ, originally created by writer Brian Wood and artist Riccardo Burchielli. The high concept story imagines a second Civil War splitting the United States, which unfortunately doesn't sound as much like a sci-fi plot as it used to. And that's probably why HBO Max chose to announce it today.

Deadline has word on the DMZ TV series that would be available on HBO Max, but that's only if the forthcoming streaming services like what they see from the pilot episode. Ava DuVernay will be directing it along with showrunner and fellow executive producer Roberto Patino (Westworld), the latter also tasked with writing the script for the pilot.

Aside from the setting of second Civil War in the United States, here's a more detailed synopsis:

In the near future, America's worst nightmare has come true. With military adventurism overseas bogging down the Army and National Guard, the U.S. government mistakenly neglects the very real threat of anti-establishment militias scattered across the 50 states. Like a sleeping giant, Middle America rises up and violently pushes its way to the shining seas, coming to a standstill at the line in the sand — Manhattan or, as the world now knows it, the DMZ.

Matty Roth, a naïve young man and aspiring photojournalist, lands a dream gig following a veteran war journalist into the heart of the DMZ. Things soon go terribly wrong, and Matty finds himself lost and alone in a world he's only seen on television. There, he is faced with a choice: try to find a way off the island, or make his career with an assignment most journalists would kill for. But can he survive in a war zone long enough to report the truth?

That sounds like quite the compelling premise, one that sounds all too familiar in today's tumultuous times thanks to a certain tyrant currently in the White House. And with Ava DuVernay behind the camera, you know she'll bring out all the social commentary within the comic, a title that effectively explores every side of the conflict across 72 issues that were spread across seven years of publication.

However, Deadline say the series will follow "a female medic on the island who is trying day-in and day-out to help keep residents alive while trying to also find her lost son." As the story unfolds, the woman becomes "a source of hope in an America that has lost all sense of the idea." This character is actually the second lead in the comic next to the journalist character in the DC Comics synopsis. Maybe the focus has shifted to the medic and the journalist will be the second lead instead. We're not sure.

Patino says, "DMZ is a special project to me as it marks a key collaboration with my company Array Filmworks, the excellent team at Warner Bros TV and the dynamo Roberto Patino." And DuVernay sings the praises of Patino's work, "We've all worked diligently on this material, and I've witnessed Roberto in action. e's insanely talented and cares about telling stories with maximum impact and imagination. I'm eager to share this one with DC fans."

This seems like a project that will resonate with more than just DC Comics fans. Production will begin early in 2020, and hopefully, HBO Max will order DMZ to series so we get a chance to see it.