Michael Green Talks Possible 'Y: The Last Man' TV Series
The showrunner of the project in development at FX reveals how Trump’s election changed the pilot for him, the most important thing to carry over from the comic and his promise for a diverse staff.
Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s Y: The Last Man may finally be making it to the small screen. After a decade of false starts, American Gods showrunner Michael Green has written a pilot for FX. Green, who is having the best year any screenwriter has had in decades, shed light on the status of a Y series during an early July breakfast interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
The series, which debuted in 2002 and ran 60 issues, told the story of Yorick Brown and his capuchin monkey Ampersand, the last surviving Y chromosome mammals on earth after an unexplained apocalypse wiped out all other males. The story follows Yorick as he tries to reunite with his girlfriend Beth and figure out how to save the human race.
New Line acquired film rights in the early 2000s and multiple feature film projects struggled to get off the ground. In 2014, the rights reverted back to Vaughan, who turned to trying to get a Y: The Last Man TV series made. Green came on in 2016 as a show runner for an adaptation on FX. In June, Vaughan told CBR, “I recently read a phenomenal draft of the Y: The Last Man pilot. Should have some very cool news about another adaptation soon.”
“I’ve written a draft, [Vaughan] liked it, FX liked it. We're gonna meet again and talk about it,” Green said, adding FX wants “to take their time” to get the show right. “Their thoughts were smart, their notes were smart,” he added.
While Green was reluctant to share concrete details, he did reveal that Trump’s victory slowed the pilot script. “It would have been a very different show, and very different development process, had the election not been as horrifying as it was,” Green said. “I had to put the script down for a couple months and really reassess it tonally, because it became a different creature, it became violent protest. It couldn't not be political, and I had to embrace it, and I had to find my way in, and I had to find a way to channel my own dismay, disappointment and rage into it, while still keeping it what it is. For a minute there I almost walked away.”
Fans will like Green’s promise that the series will have a defined length, “Whether it is 60, 70 or 80 episodes.” He promises, “I’m gonna pick a number, and I'm gonna stick to it. And I'm gonna write to it. There's so many brilliant things in that comic, the two biggest are the premise, and the ending.” He believes Vaughan’s writing “toward an ending that he knew” made the series more “meaningful.” He calls the set length of the series a “pact” with the audience, adding, “It will help them to know that we're ticking down.”
There’s one last thing Green is willing to reveal about his plans for the show: He believes a comic book about a world dominated by women needs not just a writers room with lots of female voices, but on the crew as well.