Y: The Last Man was an ongoing comic series written by Brian K. Vaughan (Saga) and illustrated by Pia Guerra (Doctor Who: The Forgotten) that ran for 60 issues from 2002 – 2008. Published by Vertigo Comics, Y: The Last Man was the apocalyptic story of the protagonist Yorick Brown and his pet monkey, Ampersand, who become the only two Y-chromosome-carrying creatures on the planet after a plague kills off all males of every species in existence. Vertigo Comics is the mature content imprint of DC Comics, and gave Vaughan and Guerra the freedom to tell an adult tale, including profanity, nudity, sex, and violence.
…And it was rad. But don’t just take my word for it—praised by many as one of the greatest comic stories ever told, the series became a cult classic and even snagged three highly coveted Eisner Awards during its run. Now it’s being awarded another honor: the 60-issue series is to be turned into a TV show for FX. But for a series that included adult themes, many fans believed that the TV adaptation could only work on a station like HBO or Showtime.
This is also not the first time Y: The Last Man has been considered for other forms of media. Film rights to the series were acquired by New Line Cinema (a sister company to Vertigo) in 2007 with director D.J. Caruso (Disturbia, Eagle Eye) attached to the project, but Caruso believed that the 60 issues of source material would just be too much to pack into one two-hour film, and would instead have to be a series of three films that each cover about 14 issues worth of content—something that New Line was not willing to get behind. In March 2012, two new writers were brought on board to enter final negotiations to write the adaptation of the series and in 2014 it was reported that New Line was enthusiastic about the draft of the script and had begun the process of meeting potential directors to hire for the project. However, in all the back and forth and changing of script writers and directors that caused delays to the film’s shooting, the rights for Y: The Last Man reverted back to Vaughan and Guerra.
Now with the rights safely back in the creators hands, Vaughan has decided to work with Michael Green (American Gods, Logan) as the show-runner on a script for the popular cable network station FX. While HBO or Showtime could have amped up the edge in storytelling, FX has proven that it can do gritty well (look at shows like The Americans or Sons of Anarchy as examples). Besides, the sex, violence, and nudity that were in the comic series never became the focal point of the issues, instead taking a backseat to the brilliant storytelling, gorgeous visuals and ample amount of incredibly well-written female characters.
While no filming information or air date is set yet for the series, there’s plenty of time to read up on it if you’re unfamiliar. You can buy the individual graphic novels or the Absolute Editions, which are archival series that collect books into huge, hardcover volumes packed with behind-the-scenes bonus material, considered to be the highest honor bestowed on a DC comic.
It seems when it comes to a live-action adaptation of Y: The Last Man, it is finally only a matter of when, not if.
Which comic book would you like to see get turned into a TV series or movie?
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Featured image via Vertigo Comics
h/t Star Tribune