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FX’s long-gestating Y: The Last Man has found its new leading man.
Warcraft and Pride alum Ben Schnetzer has been tapped to star in the cabler’s adaptation of Brian K. Vaughan’s beloved comic series. Schnetzer will take over the role of Yorick Brown — the last living cisgender man on Earth — from Barry Keoghan, who departed the drama starring Diane Lane in early February. A casting search for the central role had been going on for the past month, with new showrunner Eliza Clark (TNT’s Animal Kingdom) leading the charge alongside the John Landgraf-led network. Keoghan, who has been attached to the series since July 2018, is the only castmember being recast (though Yorick’s monkey may be replaced by CGI).
Ordered to series in 2018, Y follows escape artist Yorick after a mysterious plague as he sets out to find what might have wiped out the male chromosome. Lane, Imogen Poots, Lashana Lynch, Juliana Canfield, Marin Ireland and Amber Tamblyn round out the cast. The series was poised to make its FX debut this year, though now with Keoghan’s central scenes having to be reshot, that will without a doubt derail those plans.
Schnetzer’s credits include Snowden, The Book Thief and Epix limited series The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair. He’s repped by Gersh and attorneys David Weber and Len Sorenson.
The recasting has been the latest wrinkle in the years-long saga to bring Y: The Last Man to the screen. The title ranks as one of the most critically acclaimed comic book series of all time. The DC Comics/Vertigo title was first launched in 2002 and was written and created by Vaughan and artist Pia Guerra. It ran for 60 issues and has been collected in multiple graphic novels.
FX put the Y adaptation into development in late 2015 after Vaughan reacquired the rights to his franchise; they’d previously been tied up by New Line, which ultimately failed to get an effort on the screen. Vaughan told The Hollywood Reporter in November 2017 that he “wanted to find someone who loved the source material but didn’t feel so indebted to it that they would be afraid to change it.” FX and Vaughan tapped Michael Green and Aida Croal as showrunners. “When [Green] first pitched his take on it to Nina Jacobson and me a long time ago, he came in saying he wanted to do something about toxic masculinity. It felt very relevant, and unfortunately, I think it’s only become more relevant with each passing day. His take on it was really brave and very different but exciting as well. I really admire how audacious he’s been with his translation.”
Green and Croal departed the series in April 2019 following creative differences with the network and producers. Clark, the new showrunner, was hired two months later and is said to be making her mark on the beloved title. It’s unclear if original pilot director Melina Matsoukas will be involved in the pilot reshoots or if the original episode will be entirely redone.
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