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SYFY WIRE Ava DuVernay

HBO Max orders pilot for TV adaptation of Vertigo's DMZ, taps Ava DuVernay to direct

By Josh Weiss

In addition to her New Gods movie for Warner Bros., director Ava DuVernay will be trying her hand at another comic book adaptation for HBO Max. According to Variety, the Wrinkle in Time filmmaker has been tapped to direct the pilot episode for the streaming service's upcoming take on Vertigo's DMZ comic. Principal photography on the premiere episode is expected to kick off in early 2020.

Its title standing for "demilitarized zone," the comic book from writer Brian Wood ran for a total of 72 issues between 2005 through 2012. Set in the future aftermath of a terrible civil war, Manhattan has been designated a DMZ filled with roving gangs and warlords (think John Carpenter's Escape From New York). The story follows a female medic who roams the once-great city, saving lives and searching for her lost son.

DMZ is an extension of DuVernay's first look deal with Warner Bros. Television, which was announced last November.

DMZ Vertigo

HBO Max's ever-growing slate of original programming is clearly an effort to stay relevant in a world that's about to explode with streaming platforms beyond Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. In November alone, we'll get two new services from Apple and Disney. Nevertheless, HBO has an enviable reputation on its side thanks to a number of acclaimed original shows over the years like Westworld and Game of Thrones.

Aside from DMZ, HBO Max (which is owned by AT&T) has ordered shows like Dune: The SisterhoodGremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, and even a revival of The Boondocks. The platform will also have access to everything under the WarnerMedia banner, including all shows and films from the DC Universe

There's no release date for The New Gods just yet, but we do know that DuVernay is co-writing the screenplay with established comics veteran, Tom King. In addition, it's been confirmed that the project will feature Darkseid and his Female Furies.