Brian K. Vaughan’s beloved comic Y: The Last Man is coming to television.
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.
FX declined comment.
Y: The Last Man ranks as one of the most beloved and critically acclaimed comic book series of all time. The Vertigo title was first launched in 2002 and revolves around Yorick Brown — the last surviving human with a Y chromosome — and his Capuchin monkey, Ampersand. The series follows escape artist Yorick after the mysterious plague as he sets out to find what might have wiped out the world’s male chromosomes.
The series, written and created by Vaughan and artist Pia Guerra, ran for 60 issues and has been collected in multiple graphic novels.
The news of a Y: The Last Man TV series comes after a long waiting period as rights to the series reverted back from New Line to Vaughan after the company’s plans to convert the comics to a feature film were scrapped.
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 New Line 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 David 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.”
Y: The Last Man counts fans in Joss Whedon, French film director Louis Leterrier (The Incredible Hulk, Clash of the Titans and Now You See Me) as well as 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.
A Y: The Last Man series at FX would mark Vaughan’s return to television following 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.
For Jacobson and Simpson, meanwhile, Y: The Last Man extends the duo’s relationship with FX, where the company is under an overall deal with its in-house production arm FXP. The duo, whose credits include The Hunger Games franchise, are currently teaming with Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk on FX anthology American Crime Story.
Should Y: The Last Man go to series, it would give FX perhaps the crown jewel of comic books and put the cable network on the map with fanboys. AMC has ratings juggernaut The Walking Dead and its companion, Fear the Walking Dead as well as controversial take Preacher due next year; ABC has Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter; The CW has Arrow, Flash and Legends of Tomorrow; CBS has Supergirl; Fox has Gotham, the upcoming Lucifer and is developing X-Men; while Sony’s PlayStation has Powers, which was developed multiple times at FX. Syfy, meanwhile, is developing Superman prequel Krypton from Goyer and TNT has Titans, among others in the works.
Vaughan is repped by Verve and Ziffren Brittenham.
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