Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s Y: The Last Man comic book series was previously slated to be brought to cinematic life by Disturbia writing-directing duo Carl Ellsworth and D.J. Caruso, with Caruso’s frequent leading
boy man (Shia LaBeouf) being on-and-off rumored to portray the titular character, Yorick Brown.
However, Caruso ultimately left the project back in 2010, citing a conflict of interest with studio heads over just how much narrative content from Vaughan and Guerra’s vast source material should be compressed down and fit into the first film – as to lay the groundwork for an eventual movie trilogy.
Heat Vision says that New Line is finally going back to the drawing board – by hiring-on the writing duo of Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia to cook up a fresh screenplay for the Y: The Last Man adaptation that does not retain any elements from Ellsworth’s (or anyone else’s) previous script draft.
Onboard as producers are such people as Kyle XY alumni J.C. Spink and Chris Bender, along with comic book movie vet David S. Goyer (Blade: Trinity, Batman Begins). For the time being, the Y: The Last Man adaptation appears to be without a director – though, that could easily change before the year is out.
Here is a semi-official description of the premise for the original Y: The Last Man comic book series:
Yorick Brown is an escape artist; has a fabulous girlfriend who’s traveling in Australia; and possesses a genetic make-up that’s allowed him to survive a plague that killed every male being on the planet except for him and his pet monkey. Yorick is the last man on earth, and in the resulting chaos, he must find a way to help save the human race.
Caruso previously (and correctly, in our opinion) pointed out that Vaughn and Guerra’s original Y: The Last Man comic book series boasts the sort of dense storyline and layered mythos which could easily lend itself to a long-running TV show/mini-series interpretation, along the lines of AMC’s The Walking Dead.
Indeed, if Y: The Last Man were being planned for a television adaptation, the decision to hire on Federman and Scaia as writers would make more sense – as the pair come from a TV background, having written for and/or served as co-showrunners on such sci-fi/action series as Warehouse 13, Jericho, Human Target, and the short-lived Charlie’s Angels reboot.
That’s not to say the pair aren’t up to the challenge of devising a competent Y: The Last Man movie script – but if there’s one important lesson to take away from last year’s Green Lantern movie debacle (which was also primarily scripted by TV show writers), it’s this: success on the small screen doesn’t necessarily translate into success on the big screen, especially when already-challenging source material is involved.
We will continue to keep you up-to-date on the status of the Y: The Last Man adaptation as the story develops.