Way back in 2002 writer Brian K. Vaughn and artist Pia Guerra debuted Y: The Last Man, a Vertigo comic book series that explored a dystopian reality in which almost all men have been wiped out by a mysterious virus, leaving women to rule the world and one man (and his pet monkey) to discover the reason behind the mass male extinction. Those who’ve read the tale in its entirety will tell you that it’s one of the most emotionally resonant stories ever committed to the comic book page, and anyone who claims they got through the last volume without shedding a tear is either a filthy liar or an inhuman monster.
As such (and also owing to its relatively massive financial success), it only makes sense that a Hollywood studio would want to pick up the film rights to Y and turn the entire thing into a glossy theatrical production. In fact, that’s exactly what happened shortly after the story debuted, but unfortunately all attempts to produce a Y: The Last Man film to date have stalled out for any number of reasons.
However, according to Vulture, New Line Cinema is suddenly very keen on working though the hassles that hamstung previous production efforts. “… we hear that the studio is very pleased with a draft from former Jericho writers Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia, and has already begun the process of meeting with director candidates to hire for the project,” the entertainment news site claims, before reminding fans that at one point the project was slated to reunite Shia LaBeouf and his Disturbia director DJ Caruso. Both have subsequently moved on to other projects though, so there’s no need to imagine LaBeouf feeding a monkey grapes at the distaff end of the world.
Unfortunately, that above quote is the only solid information Vulture offers on the project, so while it’s nice to see some arguably tangible progress on the Y: The Last Man movie, we’re no closer to actually watching this thing than we were yesterday (or five years ago). That’s a bit of a downer, but it does afford the collective Y fanbase lots of time to speculate on who should star in and direct this flick. Personally, we’re having a hard time imagining a director who could manage to ape the comic series’ sudden, unexpected shifts between oppressively bleak, heartwarming and genuinely funny, but if we were forced to pick a name, we’d want Alfonso Cuarón sitting in the director’s chair. Those who’ve seen his work on 2006’s Children Of Men know that the man can do dark, end of the world-type stuff, while still maintaining the humanity of his characters and allowing each to serve as an emotional point of focus for viewers. We’re less confident about his ability to do comedy, but that should be far easier to pull off than the darker aspects of Y: The Last Man.
As for a lead actor, that’s difficult too. Maybe Ryan Gosling? Or Johnny Depp circa 1994? Despite earlier indications, we don’t actually abhor the idea of Shia LaBeouf starring in this film. He seems to have the acting chops to pull it off, but physically he strikes us as a poor match. Oooh! Y’know who would have been great in the role? Chris Evans. It’s just too bad that he’s occupied for the foreseeable future, making superhero movies and huge bags of cash with Marvel Studios.