The Perfect Place for Y: The Last Man is TV, The Perfect Time is Now

By  · Published on October 14th, 2015

If you’ve been following the studio development of Brian K. Vaughan’s popular comic book series Y: The Last Man for the past decade, then you might have a hard time believing this: The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that FX is getting serious about a television adaptation. I know, right? Here’s the juicy part:

FX is teaming with Vaughan and Color Force’s Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson to develop the dystopian sci-fi comic as an ongoing series, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. A search is under way to find a writer to develop the series with Vaughan. A director for the potential series has not yet been determined. Y: The Last Man, which is purely in development at this time, will be produced by FX and FX Productions.

It seems like just yesterday that Neil was writing about rumors that Louis Leterrier was looking to adapt Y: The Last Man after the release of Clash of the Titans, but instead, Leterrier went on to direct Now You See Me, and also, that was five years ago and where does the time go? If this latest revival of a Y: The Last Man project is to be believed – and the success of a similar television series in The Walking Dead seems to have greased the wheels for this series nicely – then the adaptation will end up on television, a much better fit for its longer story arc.

I first came across Vaughan’s series during my senior year of college when I was knocked off my feet for a couple of weeks by an unexpected illness. Thankfully, one of my buddies offered to loan me his comic book collection; for a few blissful months, I was actually caught up on any of the hot alternative comic book titles. Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead, Ed Brubaker’s Sleeper, and Greg Rucka’s GCPD were among a few of my favorites, but the absolute best – the most engrossing of them all – was Brian K. Vaughan’s Y: The Last Man. Vaughan imagined a world where every man had been wiped out by an ecological event, save for the titular Yorick, a sadsack amateur magician who stumbles through a now post-apocalyptic world in search of his missing girlfriend. And after years of production problems and troubled development, fans like me are finally getting the adaptation we’ve been hoping for.

The best part, too, is that Y: The Last Man couldn’t be coming at a better time. While the title suggests that Yorick is the main character in the series, he is surrounded by female characters who are in turn more sympathetic, capable, and likable than Yorick could ever be. Any adaptation of Y: The Last Man will offer the best of both worlds: a cast that is not dominated by white men and a narrative that was constructed for this very purpose. There are no inane questions of unfaithful adaptation or gender-swapping with Y: The Last Man, no Twitter eggs who will argue that the character of Agent 355 was bullied into becoming a female character due to political correctness. Barring any disastrous decisions with the writing room for the series, Y: The Last Man is a female-driven series that became popular for being just that. If any part of FX’s decision to green-light Y: The Last Man is owed to the success of similar female-driven action in Mad Max: Fury Road, then remind me to send another fruit basket to George Miller.

Matthew Monagle is an Austin-based film and culture critic. His work has appeared in a true hodgepodge of regional and national film publications. He is also the editor and co-founder of Certified Forgotten, an independent horror publication. Follow him on Twitter at @labsplice. (He/Him)