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For nearly a decade, a film adaptation of the Vertigo series Y: The Last Man has struggled to get off the ground. Although New Line Cinema said back in 2012 that it was a renewed priority for them, it was announced last September that the project had finally been put out of its misery. Now that the rights to the comic book series have reverted back to creator Brian K. Vaughan, he’s trying to take the story to another medium: television.
According to THR, Vaughan is developing a Y: The Last Man ongoing TV series for FX with Color Force's Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson. As this potential series is only in development, a director hasn’t been found to helm it, nor has a writer been tapped to work with Vaughan on adapting the material.
Published from 2002 to 2008, Y: The Last Man followed an amateur escape artist named Yorick and his pet monkey Ampersand, the only male survivors of a virus that killed every living mammal with a Y chromosome on Earth at once. As the women deal with the loss of men while trying to keep the human race from going extinct, Yorick and Ampersand quickly become sought after, prompting Yorick’s mother, representative Jennifer Brown, to send someone to keep him safe from malicious parties. York and Agent 355 eventually meet geneticist Allison Mann, and as the trio traveled across the country dealing with surprise dangers, they tried to figure out why Yorick and Ampersand survived the male-killing outbreak.
Should the project be ordered, TV is a much better home for this particular comic book story than the big screen. Y: The Last Man lasted 60 issues, and it was one of those books where you’d be lost if you missed even a single issue. There’s no way the story could be faithfully told with a two-hour movie, and even telling it over the course of a trilogy would be pushing it. Assuming one season would adapt approximately ten issues of the comic book series, that would give a Y: The Last Man TV series the potential to go at least six seasons on FX, if not longer.
This would be the fifth Vertigo property to be adapted for television, if ordered, following the canceled NBC series Constantine, The CW’s iZombie, Fox’s upcoming Lucifer and AMC’s upcoming Preacher. Outside of his work in comics - he is currently writing the Image Comics series Saga - Vaughan also wrote several episodes of Lost and developed the recently-canceled CBS series Under the Dome, though he departed the latter show following its first season.
We’ll keep you updated on any progress on the potential series. With superheroes primarily leading the comic book charge on television, taking Y: The Last Man to the small screen sounds like a good choice for adapting a different type of comic book tale.