Comic Book Casting: The DMZ Television Series

While most Hollywood-types are jumping at the potential of new DC superhero movies, they’re missing out on the wealth of material available outside the world of capes. We’ve seen them capitalize on Road To Perdition, V For Vendetta, The Losers and A History of Violence already, and Vertigo stalwarts like 100 Bullets, Sandman and Preacher seem in perpetual development but there’s more out there.

Brian Wood and Riccardo Burchielli’s long-running series DMZ has shown civil war coming home to roost in the streets of New York City. Years before the Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street or the Arab Spring, this urban combat drama given us a dramatically new kind of comic and is rife with potential for adaptation. Producers have circled DMZ on several occasions according to Wood, but no concrete announcement has been made to deliver what could be a gripping cable drama mixing the bleakness of The Walking Dead with the criminal intrigue of The Wire.

Instead of waiting for Hollywood to tell us who should play the roles, I thought I’d give them a wish list of my own.

The Concept:

Wood did an expert job introducing the concept in the first arc of DMZ, so that first collection could literally be used as a launching pad for the series. The tagline is easy — The second Civil War, with battle lines drawn in the boroughs of New  York. Given the television format I would play up the media orgy that 24-hours news coverage would surely go into with this kind of event, and contrast life outside the warzone with that in the city itself. It’d probably play up Matty Roth’s doe-eyed innocence a little more before he choppers in to the ground, but all in all the producers have everything they need to get going.

The Creative Masterminds:

While the concept might already be fleshed out, the hard part would be finding a creative engine to get this going on television without falling into too much compromise. For this, I’d enlist the in-demand TV pilot director Alex Graves, who’s best known for directing the pilot of Fringe but was also an integral part of The West Wing. Graves is currently producing Terra Nova, but I’d love to see Graves do a more grounded series like this and do what he does best: set the tone, create a world and make sure the storytelling makes it to the screen.

The Cast:

Matty Roth – Matt Dallas: Too dashing? I think that’s needed in this case, especially since we’ll see that covered up as Roth goes native and gets more grizzly as the series progresses. Dallas’ best known work was in the titular role of Kyle XY, and he’s a star-in-the-making that could really anchor the series and be an ideal vantage point into the world of DMZ.

Zee Hernandez – Camilla Belle: The hardest role to cast, and the hardest character to get a handle on. The best I could come up with for this is Camilla Belle of When A Stranger Calls fame. She’s primarily been a movie actress but has yet to really land a role that makes her such, and television could be an ideal way for her to break through. I’m not sold completely on her playing this, so I look forward to the iFanboy readers to provide their own suggestions.

Wilson – Tony Leung Chiu-Wai: This might be a long shot, but from the first time I saw Wilson in the comic I envisioned Tony Leung Chiu-Wai in the role. Sure he might be big Asian film star not wanting to get into American television, but it wouldn’t hurt to ask. And please, PLEASE, ask.

Parco Delgado – Clark Johnson: One of my favorite characters in the final season of The Wire, Clark Johnson could bring a civility and a harshness to the character of Parco Delgado and make everyone — from the characters to the viewers themselves – keep guessing just what Parco wants.



  1. Yes on everyone but Zee. Personally I feel a complete unknown might be the best way to go for Zee. She’s such a complicated and difficult to know person in the comic that someone coming into the role with previous hits might colour the role in people’s eyes.

  2. I’m not a regular DMZ reader- I have read a bunch of the trades I borrowed from a friend- but the coloring in the books must have been off, because I could have sworn Zee was black.

  3. Clark Johnson would be a great Delgado, Good pick!

  4. I think Zee and Matt would have to be recast. Isn’t Zee Black? and Matty in his mid/late 20’s? But everyone else looks great.

  5. I am pretty sure Zee is latino. Her last name is Hernandez