With the radical increase in page-to-screen adaptations Over the past decade, it is not surprising that the Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra comic series Y: the last man was selected for the television adaptation. He has an immediate grappling hook: What happens when every man in the world except one suddenly drops dead? It has a lot of drama: As the last surviving man, Yorick, travels the world, he meets an endless series of women who want to kill him, exploit him or have sex with him. And it also has a lot of material for a long-running series – the comic book version of the story ran in 60 issues, eventually spanning decades and continents.
Showrunner Eliza Clark (animal Kingdom), touched to administer the program after a series of false starts and crew changes, could turn that story into a never-ending series, with Yorick wandering the world, while the newly expanded and updated cast around him tell their own complicated stories about women vying for power or safety in the new world. But Clark says his ideal plan for the show would be more modest and controlled.
“I’m thinking of five or six seasons,” he tells Polygon. “Without giving away anything, the comic is a great template, but the show will have its own twists and turns. Generally speaking, I feel like TV is better in about five seasons. “
The six episodes provided to critics show a story that begins just before the cataclysm, and that initially focuses on the weeks immediately following in the United States: who takes control and who wants it, and who Yorick (Ben Schnetzer) and his Sister Hero (Olivia). Thirlby) meet as they settle into the new normal. But Clark says his broader plan for the series would encompass part of the scope of the comic.
“I definitely do [want the big time jumps]she says. I have to figure out where you are. But I felt like the first season had to be about who the characters were and what they had become. I felt like sticking with them was important, so that the audience could see those changes. “
Readers of the comics will see major changes in the story, most of which come from adopting a less gender-essentialist worldview than the original story. The female characters on the show are given more depth and complexity. Trans men are treated in a more inclusive and understanding way. The focus of the story is on American politics, not just the extrajudicial struggle for power.
“I was so interested in getting over that binary way of thinking,” says Clark. “I never wanted the story to feel like ‘Women are from Mars and men are from Venus.’ People are much more interesting than that, and the way women treat each other is really interesting to me. And the relationships that women have with other women are tense and complicated, romantic and beautiful. “
Comic book fans have been particularly curious about how the show handles Ampersand, Yorick’s fellow capuchin monkey, and the only other known male to survive in the New World. The pilot episode uses a real monkey to portray Ampersand, but in later episodes, it is a CGI creation. That initially worried Clark.
“The show has a very naturalistic cinematic style,” he says. “You are very close to people’s faces and you see their skin, you see the roots of their hair, you see the sweat dripping down their faces. So if a cartoon monkey suddenly appears, no thanks! But we have an amazing visual effects supervisor, and the people who made the monkey at ILM are amazing. I think the monkey looks amazing and very real, and that means Ben doesn’t have to do scenes with an animal where he can’t show his teeth, because that could get him in trouble. I think CG solves a lot. The monkey is expensive and I care deeply about him as a character and making him look good. So it’s one of the challenges of the show, but I think it will work. ”
Y: the last man premieres September 13 on FX and Hulu. We’ll have more from Eliza Clark, on the show’s adaptation options and her take on American politics, after the premiere.