The modern day comic book classic Y: The Last Man followed a long and tortuous process from page to screen. The original comic by writer Brian K. Vaughan and artist Pia Guerra was one of the most critically acclaimed series ever published by DC Comics, winning numerous awards during its six year run. It’s now going to become a television series for FX on Hulu.
What Is Y About?
The series published by DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint ran for 60 issues from 2002-2008. In the comic a mysterious plague instantly wipes out the males of every species, leaving women running the planet. But only two males survive for unknown reasons—a twenty-something human escape artist named Yorick Brown and his pet Capuchin monkey Ampersand. Together they team up with a badass protector named Agent 355 and set out on a cross country journey to get to the bottom of the bizarre male genocide. The Y in the series title is a reference to Yorick, as well as the male Y chromosome.
And if you can believe it, we actually have the first footage from Y: The Last Man (which we first spotted at io9). It’s only a few seconds, but given the show’s long history of, you know, not being made, we’re excited. The brief look at the series is part of FX’s promo reel. Catch it in the below video starting at 24 seconds in. The footage features Yorick’s paramedic sister Hero.
Who Is Starring?
The series stars Warcraft actor Ben Schnetzer as Yorick Brown and Diane Lane as his mother, Senator Jennifer Brown. Olivia Thirlby plays Yorick’s sister Hero Brown, and Ashley Romans portrays Agent 355. Juliana Canfield will play Yorick’s girlfriend Beth. Marin Ireland, Amber Tamblyn, and Timothy Hutton round out the cast, with the latter playing the role of the President of the United States.
Will Every Episode Cover One Issue of the Comic?
As the series ran for 60 issues, many fans have wondered if the television adaptation would adapt a single issue per episode. If so, that would likely mean a six season run for the show. We don’t think the series will follow that format, although nothing has been said definitively one way or the other.
Who Is Behind-The-Scenes?
Although the series was developed by Michael Green, he eventually stepped down to focus on American Gods. The current showrunner is Eliza Clark, who is an accomplished playwright and also wrote for the AMC series Rubicon. The pilot episode recently underwent a second attempt.
Why Did Y Take So Long To Get Made?
Y has gone from film to TV series over the course of the last decade. The first attempt at a film was by director D.J. Caruso (Disturbia). The hope was that Shia LaBeouf would play Yorick. But the studio decided Y should be a trilogy and yet could never commit to three films. After Caruso dropped out, 10 Cloverfield Lane‘s Dan Trachtenberg was attached to direct. But ultimately, New Line didn’t pull the trigger; the rights reverted back to the comic’s creators.
It then became clear that television is the proper route for a faithful adaptation of Y: The Last Man. In 2015, FX announced they were developing a TV series with Brian K. Vaughan as one of the series’ writers. They soon added Michael Green as showrunner. They shot a pilot in 2018 with Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk) as Yorick. That pilot apparently didn’t click with the network, so they revisited it. Barry Keoghan exited the role of Yorick in February 2020, and Ben Schnetzer replaced him.
When Will the First Episode of Y Drop?
Unknown at this time, but don’t expect it to premiere on Hulu before early 2021.
Featured Image: FX Networks
Originally published on March 2, 2020 with updates on October 18, 2020 and March 2, 2021.