When searching for comic books to adapt for television, DC’s Vertigo imprint is a good place to look for stories with a more dark, edge or supernatural flavor. Neil Gaiman’s Vertigo title The Sandman is getting the big screen treatment, while the laughing magician himself, John Constantine, will soon be featured in a new TV series on NBC.
Vertigo isn’t all about magic and monsters, however. Brian Wood’s 72-issue series DMZ told a keenly politicized story of a near-future New York City quite literally stuck in the middle of a second American civil war. Caught between the territories occupied by the United States of America and the Free States of America, Manhattan is turned into a demilitarized zone – though it’s not as peaceful as it might sound.
DMZ‘s run finished in 2012, but according to a Deadline report the story will be getting a revival as Syfy is developing a drama series based on the comics. Andre and Maria Jacquemetton (Mad Men) are co-writing the planned series and will executive produce alongside David Heyman (Gravity) and Heyday Films’ Jeffrey Clifford (Up in the Air).
The protagonist of DMZ is a young photo journalist called Matty Roth who arrives in Manhattan as a humble member of high-profile reporter Viktor Ferguson’s news crew. The crew is attacked almost immediately by militia, leaving Matty wounded and stranded in the DMZ. As the only inside news source reporting on the state of affairs in the DMZ, Matty quickly becomes both a celebrity and a target as he struggles to survive and to ensure that the truth gets out – no matter how many people try to stop it.
After serving for so long as writers and producers on the Manhattan-set Mad Men, the Jacquemettons are already familiar with the locale that DMZ is set in. The writing duo also have a healthy handful of Primetime Emmy and WGA awards and nominations to their names, and were among the first writers hired for Mad Men.
DMZ is in development at Syfy but will be co-produced by Warner Horizon, Slim Chance Productions and Heyday Films. It’s still early days yet and we’ll have to wait and see whether the show gets a pilot or full series order, but this comic series could definitely work well as a TV show. Share your fan casting nominations for Matty and Zee in the comments.
We’ll keep you updated on DMZ as the project develops.