I’ve been covering the film adaptation of Y: The Last Man for a very long time. It’s gone through multiple directors during its time in development hell, and now the clock has run out. Dan Trachtenberg was the last one set to direct, but when asked about the project yesterday on Twitter, he replied [via /Film] “Not happening. But it’s in trusted hands (the creators).”
Y: The Last Man is a comic series created by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra. It follows Yorick Brown, who is the last man on Earth after a virus wipes out every other male (the title is not misleading). It’s an amazing book, and part of me is glad that it won’t be making the jump to the big screen. If it had to be adapted, TV would be a better home, and it turns out Trachtenberg agrees. Hit the jump for his thoughts on what Y: The Last Man could have been.
Speaking to /Film, Trachtenberg acknowledged that our concept of how comics must be adapted has changed now that television has advanced as a long-form storytelling medium:
However, the “big screen” and the “small screen” has changed drastically since Y came out and I think so much of the great TV in our current “golden age” has been directly or indirectly inspired by Y the Last Man. I started getting excited about bringing to the BIG screen what we’ve been getting in TV so readily now— great characters, RELATIONSHIPS, world building and genre re-combination.
But if it had to be a film, here’s what Trachtenberg had planned:
Truly- I was excited to make an ADVENTURE movie, with swashbuckle, that was fun and funny but had something to say. Which is something that is distinctly BKV. Having real, true, honest ,people stuff amidst the big, fun, action stuff. We were in many ways quite faithful to the comic, though some characters were combined and some events re-arranged and some brief moments of action we dug into to create bigger action/adventure sequences.
The script was essentially the first two trades. Taking inspiration from the original Star Wars (Episode 4)- we wanted to tell a complete story…but not the whole story. Hoping that, in success, we could get tell the rest of our serialized adventure.
Raiders of the Lost Ark was referenced a lot. Midnight Run and Big Trouble in Little China were referenced a lot. Willow and Ladyhawke I may have referenced a little too often…
Reading Trachtenberg’s full comments on /Film, I don’t doubt his heart was in the right place, but I’m okay with Y: The Last Man remaining a comic. Granted, even if it was made into a movie, the comic would still be there, but this is a situation where I won’t be wondering “what could have been”.