Another attempt to adapt Y: The Last Man
It shouldn't be a surprise that an original work takes a few attempts to get it made into a film, after all we see it all the time with new writers hired on projects, directors coming and going and even studios halting projects and putting them on the back burner until a later date, and so it shouldn't be a surprise that not only did the attempt to bring Y: The Last Man to film not succeed, but that the studio are raising it again.
New Line have been trying to make this for some time and it seemed the last time around it was close to stepping forward, however all went quiet, but it seems two new writers are in negotiations to bring the project to life again.
Looking back through the stories I see that the adaptation of Y: The Last Man (Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com) really first hit the headlines in April 2007 when Shia LaBeouf said he would like to play the lead in Y: The Last Man which, at the time, the original author Brian K. Vaughan was hard at work adapting into a screenplay.
We also heard in January of 2008 from Caruso that it wouldn't just be one film but three.
Come June of 2009 there had been nothing new on the project but LaBeouf was now saying he didn't really have time to make the film then and when the project did come round he was probably going to be too old to play the role anyway, perhaps there were sighs of relief heard.
That changed twelve days later when he then altered what he said slightly and said he did want to do the film, just not right now, when the script comes and it doesn't feel like the same character he's been playing in Transformers. During his back peddle he also revealed that:
"Vaughn and Ellsworth and DJ are writing the script now"
March 2010 and new news of a potentially new director, Louis Leterrier is the man who is being associated with the directorial role on the film, a rumour that never really seems to come to fruition and by November of that year Leterrier reveals that while he would love to make the film or perhaps the television series of the adaptation of Y: The Last Man, no one is financing it. Funnily though he did seem to have a handle on what he wanted for the project and that it was bigger than most people thought, hence why he was thinking of a television series to allow the characters to live.
Not so though, and the project never surfaced again. Until now.
The Hollywood Reporter are reporting that this is not the end of the road for Y: The Last Man and that two new writers are in final negotiations to be brought on board the project. Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia are the two writers who have previous credits to their names of the television shows Jericho, Warehouse 13, Human Target and Charlie's Angels.
Now while they may not be showing a lot of longevity on the television show track record, they are showing that Y: The Last Man could go the television route, or the two might be making their first attempt at a feature screenplay. According to the article it's the latter as they have been working on the screenplay for Sony's Zorro and this is their next task, should they receive the job.
Y: The Last Man tells the story of the last man left on Earth after a plague wipes out all the men across the globe leaving only the female race, Yorick Brown and his pet monkey. Brown and his pet head off on a quest to find out what happened to all the other men while dealing with his new found responsibilities and problems of being the last man alive on Earth.
It would work well as a television series, but knowing American television studios it would be a battle every episode to keep running as they throw it around the schedules and then cancel it before anyone has really had a chance to get involved in the stories and the characters. Who's got the worst attention span in America? Not the audience, the studios, they can't see past episode six of a series or the first three days of a film release.
It is good news that the project is starting up again, but I do wonder what went wrong with the previous script, for you would have to think that having Vaughan on the team of writers would have produced something very close to the original work.