New Line Cinema have long been working on a big screen adaptation of Brian K. Vaughn and Pia Guerra‘s comic book series Y: The Last Man, the dark and often funny story of a virus that wipes out every single male mammal on the planet – with the exception of amateur escape artist Yorick and his pet monkey Ampersand. As a world now consisting almost exclusively of X chromosomes attempts to rebuild itself, Yorick journeys across America attempting to find his girlfriend Beth, along the way avoiding the countless women who now want to either kill or mate with him.
The last time the film seemed ready to go ahead, screenwriter Carl Ellsworth and director D.J. Caruso – the creative team behind 2007’s Disturbia – were set to reunite on the project. Development of the movie stalled in 2010 and Caruso decided to drop out of the project. In an interview with MovieWeb, the director said that:
I love, love, love that project. I think the biggest problem for me was I saw it as a trilogy. I didn’t think that you could take Yorick’s story and put it in to a two-hour movie and do it justice. That was sort of the difference. I think that New Line, working with Warner Bros. in their new relationship, just felt reluctant thinking that we can’t leave this thing open. Because there is just so much great stuff, so no I’m not involved with that anymore. Although I wouldn’t rule it out completely. It’s one of those things where if someone came back to me and said, okay we believe in your vision of the movie, then I would definitely jump back in but I don’t anticipate that happening. It’s a tough screenplay to lick and we had some very good writers. But it was like you had to convince the studio that this movie could stand alone on its own. But at the same time there would be unresolved issues ultimately with what happens to Yorick and how it all ties together. It’s really tough. If someone came back to me today and said they would love for me to jump in and do this the way I wanted to do it, I would. But I just feel like it’s too much for one screenplay. I’m not involved with that now.
It sounds pretty unlikely that Caruso will ever get back onboard, and New Line are apparently starting from scratch by hiring writing duo Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia to put together a new screenplay. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the writing team, who have previously worked on TV shows Warehouse 13, Human Target and Jericho, are in final negotiations with New Line to put together a new script.
Based on this, it seems that the studio will definitely be going ahead with the plan to include the full story arc in the movie, rather than leaving the ending open for sequels. Certainly it’s a story that could translate very well to the big screen, and the acquisition of a new writing team seems to be a good sign that development is moving ahead.