A few weeks ago, Bill McGoldrick, Syfy‘s V.P. of original programming, stated his intention to turn the network into something beyond a place for impossible sea creatures to get caught up in intense weather patterns. His vision is for a future filled with the genre’s top minds turning great ideas into series. While there are zero guarantees on how this will turn out, McGoldrick is making good on his goals by acquiring the rights to the DC/Vertigo comic DMZ, from writer Brian Wood and artist Riccardo Burchielli. The network is already bringing in big talent to develop it. Through their deal with Warner Bros. TV, former Mad Men executive producers André and Maria Jacquemetton will partner with Gravity producer David Heyman in an attempt to spin this war-torn dystopia into cable gold.
First published in 2005, DMZ was inspired in part by the volatile aftermath of 9/11. Set in a near-future where the country has split into two factions—the standard U.S. and the seceded Free States of America—this becomes the setting for a second civil war. The titular demilitarized zone is Manhattan, now only a shell of what it once was, with 1/4 of its population still intact, the majority of which is comprised of the poor and the neutral. There are also some independently war-minded folks that form DMZ militias.
The narrative centers on Matty Roth, a photojournalist who lands in the DMZ to get a better idea of the conditions to report back to the Liberty News Network. Unfortunately, some of the more trigger-happy citizens take out his entire crew. Roth is left stranded on the streets with no way to communicate to the outside world, until a badass woman named Zee saves his ass. Wood and Burchielli occasionally hone in on supporting characters, but otherwise focus on Matty and the wide world of triads, military contractors, separatist groups, and nuke-happy faux governors.
This series almost has to be good, as Heyman and his production company were also behind the wildly successful Harry Potter films. More recently, they were responsible for the pot comedy We’re the Millers, and have an adaptation of the beloved children’s series Paddington on the way. The Jacquemettons rose to fame by joining the Mad Men staff soon after the pilot, but were also writers and story editors on Star Trek: Enterprise and the most dramatic TV series to ever exist: Baywatch.
DMZ came to an end in 2012, after 72 issues, and there are more than enough storylines to keep a TV series going for nearly as many years. Check out a trailer for the comic below.