Ava DuVernay is directing an HBO adaptation based on Brian Wood's DMZ

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/10/02/no-matty-roth.html


shifting the point of view from independent journalist (and unwilling celebrity) Matty Roth to a "female medic who saves lives while desperately searching for her lost son.

Reminds me of the changes made to World War Z, from “interviewer collecting oral histories” to “BRAD PITT STARS AS A CRACK CDC OPERATIVE AND GENIUS AND THE ONLY PERSON WHO CAN SAVE THE WORLD (AND ALSO HIS WIFE AND CHILD)”.


Oh man this sounds fantastic! The comic was solid and her When They See Us was so so good. Sign me up.


How is that the same, though?


I think if A Wrinkle in Time was on my resume, I might just skip that credit.


“Production is scheduled to start early in 2020”

That’s fitting since that is when this scenario is probably going to start in real life. :frowning:


I guess I don’t like prismatic, multiply-perspectived stories being reduced to the story of one person who is A Hero. I also kind of think that Hollywood in general overuses “save a girl”/“save a kid” as a cheap way to raise the emotional stakes of a story. Don’t get me wrong, saving people is great, and so is caring about people. But in a Hollywood narrative these relationships are given few particulars, and as a result their emotional content is largely unearned in the writing. I am not optimistic about any big-budget production’s handling of such tropes.

And don’t get me started on how Hollywood thinks kids are the only reason a woman does anything.

I’ll stop yukking the yum now. I’ll probably look up the graphic novels; I probably won’t see the movie.

But in the Brad Pitt example, it’s more about shifting from multiple perspective to a specifically white savior narrative, and a much more obvious example of bringing in a bankable star. I don’t really get that sense in the direction they’re talking about here. They seem to be distinctly trying to move away from a white savior trope. It seems like keeping Roth as the main character would lead to a more flattened narrative in show in that case where it would be easier to shut out multiple narratives. Plus, given that this is well before they’ve started filming, there probably will be more to it than that.

Plus, these are very different mediums. As GRRM pointed out, there are limits on just how much multi-person narratives you can put into a show as opposed to in a book/comic, where you’re much freer.

As for the woman rescuing her kid, if that’s going to be part of the story, I’d much rather have a woman write that.

But maybe you can wait and pass judgement when it comes out instead of just assuming it’ll be crap. Hollywood has gotten much better at adaptations in recent years, especially with speculative fiction. It tends to work out better when you have a director like DuVernay who tends to care about the medium as an art and storytelling form instead of just there to make the most bang for the buck by throwing in a bankable star like Pitt.


Do tell; what films ARE on your resume?


Have you heard that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead?

Send flowers.


I’m sure Duvernay will do a fine job, but I’m not interested in supporting Brian Wood, who’s been dogged for years by allegations that he sexually harasses women and, when they reject his advances, threatens to ruin their careers.

Brian Wood accused of sexual misconduct (again)


Really? Ugh… that sucks. How hard is it to keep one’s hands to oneself?


When we talk about a new civil war (one that won’t start in defense of an orange narcissist’s regime), DMZ comes close to describing a plausible scenario. From Teh Wiki:

In issue #8, its explained that the Free States are less a geographical entity than “an idea”, and that the movement began with an uprising of secessionist groups that formed a separate government in Montana before spreading across the country.


Midwestern militia groups revolt against their local governments in protest of rampant U.S. adventurism overseas and, in the absence of the National Guard, are able to gain far more ground than they thought possible. Small insurgent groups pop up in towns and cities across the country, and a sizable force, the Free States Army, pushes toward Manhattan. The city proves too big for them to take, and also for the U.S. Army to defend. The war stalls there, a stalemate, neither side being able to shift things.

The loosely affiliated militia groups are united by right-wing populism, isolationationism, ammosexuality, and white supremacy. In the series, the “Free States” are basically provided their opening by a corrupt U.S. government that’s completely in thrall to the military-industrial complex and that’s starved states and municipalities of funding as it wages numerous forever wars.

In a real-world scenario, urban enclaves of the wealthy would be protected by the U.S. government and the battles would be fought in Ameristan, but I understand why it’s more dramatic to envision Manhattan as a war zone in the comics and now TV series.


The whole point was that Matty was an idiot that f-ed everything up by letting that celebrity go to his head, changing the perspective away from someone like that makes no sense in buying the rights to DMZ to adapt as not even the same outline of a story. This strikes me as just another comic book adaption that was bought for name alone.

There isn’t even a pilot out yet, and already cries of “it sucks” are filling the intertubes! Imagine that!


Same shit, different toilet.


i think i have an idea for a new graphic novel–“ATTACK OF THE PRECOGNITIVE CRITICS!”


“Wahhhh, you’re ruining my … um … young adolesence by making this about a lady instead of a white guy.”

These spoiled babies don’t see this for what it is: a bonus TV series set in the same world as the comic books with a different viewpoint character. My guess is that Matty Roth and other characters from the comics will pop up in the series from time to time. But no, hand them a gift that doesn’t show the perspective of a white male and they spit on it before they unwrap it.


The reason I find the synopsis disappointing is that it sounds very interesting but in it is not similar to the synopsis of DMZ which means that even if it is fantastic, which it probably will be judging by DuVernay’s work, it will mean that an adaptation that follows the source material will more than likely never be made. DMZ isn’t popular enough to get the Spider-Man treatment.

It is a different medium. It’s never going to be “just like the comic”. It’s a fever dream to think you can ever translate one medium directly to another.

Maybe wait and see if it’s any good. It might not be exactly like the comic, but that doesn’t mean you have to preemptively assume it’s going to suck, when the damn thing doesn’t have a script, a cast, or a single second of footage in the can…

None of the spiderman movies are just like comics. They change stuff to make it work better on film. Plus, maybe something like this SHOULDN’T be a big blockbuster popcorn film? Maybe it should reach down and explore what a situation like this would mean for the people caught up in it?