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SYFY WIRE Y: The Last Man

Y: The Last Man showrunner says comic is just a 'template' for the show, which has a 5-6 season plan

By Nivea Serrao
Y The Last Man Pilot Yorick and Amp

As even more book and comic adaptations continue to hit the big and small screen, producers and showrunners are getting better at understanding just how to translate the material in a way that stays true to the original while also serving the medium they're working in. 

Y: The Last Man showrunner Eliza Clark (Extant) is one of them. And as she mentioned in a recent interview with Polygon, even though the series is yet to premiere, she knows exactly where it will go as she's already thinking in the long term, having outlined a show that could potentially span the globe in its storytelling — not unlike the comic it is based on. 

"Five or six seasons is what I'm thinking," she says. "Without giving anything away, the comic is a great template, but the show will have its own twists and turns. Generally speaking, I feel like television is best at about five seasons."

But don't worry, she doesn't have anything too drastic in mind just yet. In fact, it seems like Season 1 might be a lot more grounded than the more immediate plot twists encountered in the comic series written by Brian K. Vaughan (Saga) and illustrated by Pia Guerra.

"I definitely do [want the big time jumps]," notes Clark. "I think that’s part of what’s so fun about the book, is that it gives you the opportunity to play with time, play with genre. I love the way Brian drops you into the world, and you have to figure out where you are. But I felt like the first season needed to be about who the characters were, and what they had become. I felt like sticking with them was important, so the audience could see those changes."

Y: The Last Man is set in a world where every living mammal with the Y chromosome has mysteriously died due to a mysterious illness targeting it. The story centres on one of the Yorick (Ben Schnetzer), the titular last man and his attempts to stay alive and navigate this new world as it slowly learns of his existence. He is joined by his pet monkey Ampersand, who is also male, and Agent 355 (Ashley Romans) who is tasked with keeping him safe. It also focuses on his sister Hero (Olivia Thirlby) and their mother Sen. Jennifer Brown (Diane Lane) who is promoted to President of the United States. 

Clark states that the show will be moving past the more gender essentialist view featured in the original comic, with the matter of trans men being addressed more inclusively, with the show even working with GLAAD to ensure that. 

“I was so interested in getting past that binary way of thinking," says Clark. "I never wanted the story to feel like 'Women are from Mars and men are from Venus.' People are just so much more interesting than that, and the way women treat each other is really interesting to me. And the relationships women have to other women are fraught and complicated, and romantic, and beautiful."

Y: The Last Man ventures onto FX on Hulu Monday, Sep. 13.