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'Y: The Last Man' Ordered to Series at FX


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aLNGBmt.jpgBrian K. Vaughan's beloved comic series Y: The Last Man is finally coming to a screen. FX announced today that it has picked up its TV adaptation to series. The network has handed out a series order for the drama from showrunner Michael Green and starring Barry Keoghan and Diane Lane. It is expected to premiere in 2020.


Y: The Last Man ranks as one of the most critically acclaimed comic book series of all time. The DC Comics/Vertigo title was first launched in 2002 and revolves around Yorick Brown (Keoghan, Dunkirk) — the last surviving human with a Y chromosome — and his Capuchin monkey, Ampersand. The series follows escape artist Yorick after a mysterious plague as he sets out to find what might have wiped out the male chromosome. Y: The Last Man, written and created by Vaughan and artist Pia Guerra, ran for 60 issues and has been collected in multiple graphic novels.


Green (American GodsBlade Runner 2049Logan) and Aïda Mashaka Croal (Luke CageTurn) serve as showrunners and executive producers. Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson of Color Force (American Crime StoryPoseThe Hunger Games) and Vaughan executive produce and developed the series. Melina Matsoukas (InsecureMaster of NoneBeyonce: Formation) directed the pilot and exec produce the FX Productions drama. In addition to Keoghan and Lane, the cast also includes Amber Tamblyn, Imogen Poots, Lashana Lynch, Juliana Canfield and Marin Ireland.


"Brian and Pia’s exploration of a world without men is a favorite for its depth, its humor, its insights and its monkey," Croal and Green said in a joint statement announcing the news Monday. “Adapted today it offers us a cracked mirror to look at our own very cracked world. We thank them for their trust — we thank FX for their support — and we thank the casting gods for letting us work with this incredible group of actors.”
It's been a long and twisty path to the screen for Y: The Last Man. FX put the adaptation in development in late 2015 after Vaughan reacquired the rights to his franchise following a lengthy waiting period after New Line scrapped plans to convert the comic book to a feature film. New Line — a corporate sibling to publisher Vertigo — acquired the film rights to the series in 2007 and set David Goyer, Carl Ellsworth and director D.J. Caruso to adapt. The latter wound up walking away from the project after the studio didn't want to produce the saga as a three-film franchise but rather a two-hour stand-alone feature.

In March 2012, Jericho's Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia were in final negotiations to take on the property with J.C. Spink, Chris Bender and Goyer producing, and Mason Novick and Jake Weiner set as executive producers. The latter fell apart in September 2014 when Vaughan announced that the rights were in the process of reverting back to him and the movie was dead. "We wanted to tell a complete story … but not the whole story," Vaughan said at the time, noting that he had hoped that "in success, we could get tell the rest of our serialized adventure."


Vaughan told The Hollywood Reporter in November 2017 that he "wanted to find someone who loved the source material but didn't feel so indebted to it that they would be afraid to change it," with Green fitting that bill. "When [Green] first pitched his take on it to Nina Jacobson and me a long time ago, he came in saying he wanted to do something about toxic masculinity. It felt very relevant, and unfortunately, I think it's only become more relevant with each passing day. His take on it was really brave and very different, but exciting as well. I really admire how audacious he's been with his translation."


Green's vision for Y: The Last Man, he told THR in July 2017, changed after Trump was elected president. "It would have been a very different show, and very different development process, had the election not been as horrifying as it was," Green said. "I had to put the script down for a couple months and really reassess it tonally, because it became a different creature, it became violent protest. It couldn't not be political, and I had to embrace it, and I had to find my way in, and I had to find a way to channel my own dismay, disappointment and rage into it, while still keeping it what it is. For a minute there, I almost walked away."


Y: The Last Man — now especially relevant in the era of salary-parity debates and the #MeToo and Time's Up movements — counts fans in Joss Whedon; French film director Louis Leterrier (The Incredible Hulk, Clash of the Titans and Now You See Me); and Chuck alum Zachary Levi, who expressed interest in taking on the role of Yorick — going so far as to have his character on the former NBC comedy read the graphic novel in an episode. Quizzed by THR in September 2014 ahead of the fall comic book invasion on broadcast, Y: The Last Man was singled out as a property that should be the next to come to the small screen.

FX's Y marks Vaughan's latest TV foray after Hulu's take on his beloved Marvel comic Runaways and CBS' Under the Dome (which he developed for Showtime and ultimately departed following its freshman season on CBS) and Lost. He's currently writing Image Comics' critical hit Saga and has an eight-figure overall film and TV deal with Legendary.


Y joins a scripted roster at FX that also includes American Horror Story, Atlanta, Better Things, Baskets, Fargo, Legion, Mayans, Pose, Snowfall and the upcoming Breeders, Devs, Fosse/Verdon, Mrs. America, Shogun and What We Do in the Shadows. Still in limbo are the futures of American Crime Story, Feud and Trust. 

"Y: The Last Man is a towering achievement among graphic novel storytelling and it’s been rewarding to work with this outstanding team,” FX president of original programming Nick Grad said. “Michael Green and Aïda Mashaka Croal have partnered with Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson to deliver a stunning new expression of this fascinating and timely story. Melina Matsoukas, who directed the pilot, did an incredible job bringing it to life with Diane Lane and this stellar cast.”
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