Y: The Last Man, from writer Brian K. Vaughan and artist Pia Guerra, is considered one of the best comics of the new millennium. Starting in 2002, and wrapping up in 2008, the journey of Yorick Brown and his pet Capuchin monkey, Ampersand, as the last two living males on Earth, has been in development in since 2007. But if something isn’t done soon, the rights on the property may revert back to the creators.
Y is a long way from happening, but has already travelled a long, bumpy road. D.J. Caruso (Disturbia, Eagle Eye) was attached to helm an adaptation for a while, with actor and plagiarist Shia LaBeouf (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen) attached to play Yorick. At one time, French director Louis Leterrier (Now You See Me, The Incredible Hulk) also expressed an interest in directing. Caruso and LaBeouf have now moved on, and New Line Cinema had gone in a new direction.
Back in January 2013, the movie studio hired Dan Trachtenberg (the Portal short film) to direct, and screenwriter David S. Goyer (Man of Steel) to handle the script. Even with all of that, there has been no activity. Talking to Comic Book Resources, Vaughn said if nothing happens soon, New Line could be out of a comic book to adapt. He said:
It’s my understanding that the rights to Y: The Last Man will revert back to co-creator Pia Guerra and me for the first time in a decade if the planned New Line adaptation doesn’t start shooting in the next few months, so I expect there will be some Y news in 2014 either way.
Vaughan makes a good point with his last comment. Something is going to happen. It’s either that casting and production will start soon, or the rights will revert back to the creators. Either way, we’ll hear something about Y: The Last Man too long.
I actually hope that the film rights revert back to Vaughan and Guerra. I don’t see how Y: The Last Man can be made as one stand-alone movie or even a film trilogy. The story has so many twists and turns, and is so long an involved, that it would be virtually impossible to re-create in one movie. Honestly, the episodic nature of the comic would work best as a series on a premium cable network like HBO or Showtime.
Just think about the current project. Trachtenberg is an unproven director, while Goyer is a hack as a screenwriter and producer. The project sounds iffy already. I’d feel better about the film if Vaughan and Guerra were involved, but that doesn’t sound like that’s the case. Y: The Last Man works better on the page anyway than in a live-action version. Regardless, it’s hard to be too upset if the Y: The Last Man movie doesn’t happen. At least the film rights would go back to its creators. We’ll always have the graphic novel.