One man. One monkey. A world full of women. Sadly, the future of FX's TV adaptation of the Eisner-winning Vertigo comic Y: The Last Man is a bit up in the air right now after losing its showrunners Aïda Mashaka Croal and Michael Green earlier this year, but the comic's New York Comic Con 2019 panel was nothing but optimistic about all things Y.
Speaking at the panel, writer Brian K. Vaughan and artist Pia Guerra talked about the future of the series and its origins with series editor Heidi MacDonald. Taking place 17 years after the comic's debut, the discussion started with Guerra and Vaughan still shocked that people remember what was to them a shot in the dark. Vaughan highlighted Guerra's ability to act — basically, the ability to give characters facial expressions and body language that not only match but heighten the dialogue — which was something that came from her acting background and work on the Buffy comic.
Vaughan explained that an older babysitter (and the 1984 movie Night of the Comet) was the source of the "What if I was the only boy left on Earth" idea. Undermining this creepy premise — and channeling some of the writer's all-boys Catholic schooling — became the driving force behind Y. Speaking of other media that explore the same premise, neither Vaughan nor Guerra have seen Zardoz yet. Then the topic turned to TV.
"The television show will reflect" the current political climate, says Vaughan, who also highlights that the show's writers' room will feature a trans writer who can help modernize the show by including trans issues.
The TV adaptation is still planned to move forward at the network under new leader Eliza Clark. The cast of the woman-centric apocalyptic series includes Barry Keoghan, Imogen Poots, Lashana Lynch, Juliana Canfield, Marin Ireland, Amber Tamblyn, and Diane Lane.
The interesting situation MacDonald brought up was that Y had the option for an A or B deal: The first was $5,000 and they'd sell the rights; the second was no money up front but the creators kept the rights. Thankfully for fans, they took the second, even though Vaughan desperately needed the cash. The writer, calling Y "deceptively tricky to get right," explained that it's been a "struggle" to get it to the screen over countless development attempts. However, the show coming to FX is the "version that fans deserve," according to the writer.
While a movie version could have been possible (and he even tried to write a version himself), the writer noted, TV was always the place that felt right. Besides, the time is right for the show, as Vaughan said that in today's climate, a world without men feels less apocalyptic and more like an "escapist fantasy."
Y is planned to debut on FX sometime in 2020.
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