Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s Y: The Last Man had a premise that must have seemed irresistible to Hollywood producers. A plague supposedly kills all the males on the planet except for one man named Yorick and his male monkey named Ampersand. The government wished to protect Yorick in the hopes of finding a cure for the plague or at the very least clone him to keep the human race alive. But al he wants to do is reunite with his fiancee, who is on an archeological dig in Australia.
Unfortunately, being that Y: The Last Man was an epic tale that not only travels the breath of the United States, but also spans the globe and years of real time, it was not an easy story to adapt. The project has been in development for almost seven years, and it appears that time for a film version is about to run out.
Creator Brian K. Vaughan stated in an interview with Comic Book Resources that the film rights to the series will revert back to him and Guerra if the project does not go into production in a few months.
Y: The Last Man was optioned by New Line back in July of 2007, with D.J. Corona set to direct and David S. Goyer on to produce. Corona reteamed with his Disturbia screenwriter Carl Ellsworth to create a script and that film’s star, Shia LaBeouf, was rumored to be circling around playing the lead.
Problems developed due to the fact that New Line wanted a stand alone film and Corona thought the dense text of the comic deserved at least a trilogy. This difference of opinion led to Corona’s leaving the project in 2010. New Line had the script rewritten over the years while they searched for a new director.
In early 2013, commercial director Dan Trachtenberg was tapped to direct, and Goyer stated in June of that year that the new script for a stand alone film was almost completed and production had a chance of starting early this year.
Having the rights revert back to Vaughan and Guerra might be the best thing for the project. Vaughan has become a Hollywood player since Y: The Last Man was first option, becoming executive producer on the hit CBS TV show, Under the Dome. If the right come back to him, he might be able to do right by the property.