The Film Rights to ‘Y: The Last Man’ Are About to Expire

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Though I have never heard of it – and that’s not surprising, consider my age and acknowledged lack of comic book/graphic novel acumen – Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s ‘Y: The Last Man‘ is apparently a beloved pen and ink property. Telling the tale of an apocalyptic epidemic which sees every mammal with a Y chromosome suddenly dropping dead for no recognizable reason, it features a solitary hero named Yorick Brown, the saving grace of the title, and his male capuchin monkey sidekick, Ampersand. Around the time of its release, New Line Cinema stepped in and bought the rights to the series. Now, time is almost running out for an adaptation, less the rights revert back to Vaughn and Guerra. Indeed, it is rumored that if the studio doesn’t start production on something within the next few months, they will lose ‘Y: The Last Man’ they way Fox lost ‘Daredevil.’

You see, studios often option items they think will make compelling cinema…and then let them wander in the industry wasteland accurately described as “Development Hell.” It’s been nearly 10 years since work began on the project but nothing concrete has come out of it. Though, according to, there’s been several directors and screenwriters attached to the concept, New Line is no closer to making the movie than it was before. In an interview with CBR (Comic Book Resources), Vaughn suggested that, with the deadline rapidly approaching, 2014 should see some news on the situation, pro or con. The odd thing is that a script is supposedly already in place. It was penned by Matthew Federman and Steven Scaia. There’s even a director linked to the material (Daniel Trachtenberg, a commercial director who scored big with a short film based on the Portal video game).

Considering that, as someone in the industry, this is the first time this title has crossed my radar, it doesn’t bode well for an impending start. The names attached all have potential and there is definitely a fanbase for such dystopian visions (2013 was literally larded with movies, both hilarious and harrowing, centering on the possible end of the world). On the other hand, the comic series ended in 2008, and in Hollywood, six years is forever. A focus group poll of interest could instantly doom the studio’s interest. Luckily, Vaughn has kept a high profile with his recent work on CBS’s summer hit, the adaptation of Stephen King’s ‘Under the Dome.’ Still, the ball remains in New Line’s court, and if anything happens, it will be the studio who gets things rolling, or closes down this particular segment of the ‘Y: The Last Man’ story for now. Stay tuned.

Source: Screen

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