The question of “what if you were the last man on Earth” has been a key part of speculative fiction since damn near day one. From Earth Abides to I Am Legend to episodes of the Twilight Zone, this scenario has been played out time and time again. Fox is getting into the act with their upcoming series The Last Man on Earth starring Will Forte. In most instances, this set up is played straight, but as you’ll see in this new trailer and these stills, that’s not the case here. Not that you didn’t expect that, Forte may have done a nice dramatic turn in last year’s Nebraska, but this is still the guy who played MacGruber.
It actually may be Forte’s ability to go serious that will keep Last Man interesting. Set in 2022, there’s a kind of Red Dwarf vibe in this trailer. This is the last human being alive, and he’s a total slob, but Forte, who also created the show, looks like he’s crafted a complete character. It’s hilarious to watch his Phil Miller shuffle around a super market in his filthy boxers and fill a shopping car full porn. He has a fun, almost Little Tramp thing going on, but at the same time there’s a deep sadness and sense of loneliness. The slapstick will only carry a show like this so far, and there needs to be something more, something meaty to hang onto, but it definitely looks like Forte brings that to the role.
Here’s what the network has to say about the series:
Phil Miller (Will Forte) was once just an average guy who loved his family and hated his job at the bank—now he’s humanity’s last hope. Will he ever find another person alive on the planet? Would hoping that she is a female be asking too much?
You can tell that at least a large part of the show will follow Phil living out his life in a variety of situations and scenarios, like eating a Pop Tart peanut butter and jelly sandwich at a museum or singing the National Anthem at Dodger Stadium. No matter how good it is, it’s hard to imagine that he’s the actual last person alive, because that ideas seems like it would run out of steam after a while if it’s just him travelling around the country by himself. It has to be more than just Phil doing wacky things in his underwear if this is going to last.
In addition to Forte, The Last Man on Earth is bringing along Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the duo behind The LEGO Movie and 21 Jump Street, to direct the pilot episode. You have to wonder if that’s where they came up with the Phil Miller name. But those two are gold right now, and that can only mean good things for this series.
We won’t see The Last Man on Earth on Fox until sometime in 2015, when the network will insert in into the line up, but we’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this.