Director Confirms Cancellation Of Y: The Last Man Film, Describes What Could Have Been
It's dead, gals. Just like the rest of 'em.
Alas, poor Yorick? Fans of Y: The Last Man hoping for a film adaptation may need to accept that Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s post-apocalyptic story might never make it to the big screen. This Wednesday Dan Trachtenberg, the most recent director attached to the long-awaited project, confirmed via Twitter that the rights for the book had returned to its creators. Although doing the original story justice would probably be nearly impossible, Trachtenberg also shared details about his plans for the cancelled project that indicate his movie might have actually come close.
— Dan Trachtenberg (@DannyTRS) September 25, 2014
In an interview with /Film, Trachtenberg–who has moved on since Y: The Last Man‘s demise to work on the Bad Robot project Valencia–talked about the challenges that have prevented adapting such beloved source material and the graphic novel’s impact on sci fi and storytelling:
Like everyone else who’s a fan of the series I had always wished it either remain in its comic book form. Or, if it must be made, a TV series would be the only thing that would suffice.
However, the “big screen” and the “small screen” has changed drastically since Y came out and I think so much of the great TV in our current “golden age” has been directly or indirectly inspired by Y the Last Man. I started getting excited about bringing to the BIG screen what we’ve been getting in TV so readily now — great characters, RELATIONSHIPS, world building and genre re-combination.
According to Trachtenberg, the film would have been an adaptation of the first two trade editions of the book:
I was excited to make an ADVENTURE movie, with swashbuckle, that was fun and funny but had something to say. Which is something that is distinctly BKV. Having real, true, honest, people stuff amidst the big, fun, action stuff. We were in many ways quite faithful to the comic, though some characters were combined and some events re-arranged and some brief moments of action we dug into to create bigger action/adventure sequences.
The script was essentially the first two trades. Taking inspiration from the original Star Wars (Episode 4) — we wanted to tell a complete story…but not the whole story. Hoping that, in success, we could get tell the rest of our serialized adventure.
Raiders of the Lost Ark was referenced a lot. Midnight Run and Big Trouble in Little China were referenced a lot. Willow and Ladyhawke I may have referenced a little too often…
Man, that’s shrewd. If your adaptation of a beloved entity is cancelled, probably best way to swear you would have been faithful to the original then mention universally-beloved movies as influences. (Although to be honest, most of those films seem tellingly dude-oriented.)
Rights to Y: The Last Man are now in the hands of Vaughan, and Trachtenberg thinks they might stay there: “I’m not sure Brian will ever want to do anything more with it, and I’m not sure that he needs to.”
What does the peanut gallery think? Personally I’ve always felt like another Y: The Last Man adaptation would be a mistake; the book’s plot and politics are a balancing act, and I pity the director tasked with not disappointing its legions of fans. Would the story would be more suited to an episodic re-telling on TV? Do you agree with Trachtenberg that some of today’s greatest shows are influenced by Yorick and co.? Let us know below!
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