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Ava DuVernay's DMZ, a television project we've known about since before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, will arrive on HBO Max a lot sooner than you think. The four-part limited series which just released its first heart-thumping trailer online, is scheduled to drop onto the WarnerMedia-owned streaming service next week on Thursday, March 17.
Based on the Vertigo-published comic book of the same name created by writer Brian Wood and artist Riccardo Burchielli, the small screen adaptation takes place in a dystopian version of New York City where a lone mother (Dopesick's Rosario Dawson) sets out to find her missing son. Benjamin Bratt, Hoon Lee, Freddy Miyares, Jordan Preston Carter, and Venus Ariel co-star. Guest stars include: Rutina Wesley, Nora Dunn, Jade Wu, Rey Gallegos, Mamie Gummer, Agam Darshi, Juani Feliz, and Henry G. Sanders.
Watch the trailer below:
Judging by the initial footage, the show looks like a mixture of John Carpenter's Escape from New York and Francis Lawrence's I Am Legend. Its title is an acronym for "demilitarized zone," a term that refers to an area of no man's land that is unanimously agreed upon between two or more warring parties. In the reality of DMZ, New York City is cut off from the rest of the country when the United States breaks out into a second civil war.
Roberto Patino serves as showrunner and penned the first episode, which DuVernay (A Wrinkle in Time, Naomi) directed. The award-winning filmmaker serves as an executive producer alongside Paul Garnes and Ernest Dickerson (the latter produced and directed the other three episodes). Carly Wray is a co-executive producer.
DuVernay was able to wrap up filming for the pilot episode just before the world shut down in the face of the rapidly spreading pathogen dubbed the novel coronavirus. Back in December, HBO Max debuted a mega-trailer for its 2022 slate of television programming that showed off a brief crowd shot from DMZ.
Posting that image on her Twitter page, DuVernay wrote: "[This is] what I was directing when the world shut down in 2020. There are 1000 background actors in that scene. Who knows when we’ll be able to have that many maskless folks on set again. Not anytime soon. Also: @rosariodawson is dreamy to work with."
DMZ premieres on HBO Max next Thursday — March 17.