HBO Max Orders Ava DuVernay Drama ‘DMZ’ to Series

Ava DuVernay is officially making her first show at HBO Max.

The WarnerMedia streamer has handed a series order to four-part limited drama “DMZ,” which hails from DuVernay and “Westworld” writer Roberto Patino. Both are under overall deals with Warner Bros. Television Group, with DuVernay’s said to be somewhere in the $100 million range.

News of the pick up comes just over a year after HBO Max ordered a pilot for “DMZ.” The series is headlined by Rosario Dawson, who is likely to be appearing in upcoming editions of “The Mandalorian,” and “Law & Order” alum Benjamin Bratt.

“DMZ,” based on the DC comic series, is set in the near future when America is embroiled in a bitter civil war, which has left Manhattan a demilitarized zone (DMZ), destroyed and isolated from the rest of the world. It chronicles the harrowing journey of fearless and fierce medic Alma Ortega (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 (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.

Patino is set to write all four episodes, serve as showrunner and executive produce alongside DuVernay who directed the pilot. Production on the series is slated to begin in 2021.

“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 Patino in a statement. “’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.”

In addition to Dawson and Bratt, “DMZ” also stars include Hoon Lee, Freddy Miyares, and Jordan Preston Carter.

“’DMZ’s’ unflinching story of a country torn apart resonates eerily and profoundly amid our current state of the union,” added Sarah Aubrey, head of original content at HBO Max. “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.” 

“DMZ” is produced by DuVernay’s ARRAY Filmworks in association with Warner Bros. Television. It represents the second DC-related project that DuVernay is involved with, as she is set to helm the superhero feature “New Gods.”

DuVernay’s other projects under her overall include OWN series “Queen Sugar” and “Cherish the Day,” as well as upcoming NBC social experiment series “Home Sweet Home” and HBO Max docuseries “One Perfect Shot.” She is also working on the Netflix limited series “Colin in Black & White” about the life of football player and activist  Colin Kaepernick.

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