Step aside, Will Forte: The TV landscape is about to usher in a new last man on Earth.
In making an official pilot order for Y: The Last Man, FX has taken a crucial step in bringing one of the most beloved comic books of the new millennium to life. Based on the Vertigo Comics series from Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra, Y focuses on the titular Yorick Brown, an aspiring escape artist who improbably survives an apocalyptic event that claims the life of every male mammal on Earth — every one except for Yorick and his pet monkey, Ampersand, that is.
Beginning with that hook of a premise, Yorick embarks on a global trek alongside the deadly Agent 355 and the brilliant Dr. Allison Mann, encountering new allies and dangerous enemies along the way. Their goal: to understand the nature of their present doomsday scenario, and hopefully steer humanity away from the brink of extinction in the process — and perhaps find Yorick’s fiance, trapped on the other side of the world, as well.
Given the scope of the series and the roster of memorable characters, Y: The Last Man (which is set to move forward with American Gods‘ Michael Green and Jessica Jones‘ Aida Mashaka Croal as co-showrunners) has a big order to fill in the casting department — and it all begins with the last man himself. As the pilot begins to cast its leads, here are some of the actors we are humbly putting forward as contenders to fill out Yorick’s considerable shoes … or straitjacket, as it were.
Darren Criss: Hot off a mesmerizing turn as serial killer Andrew Cunanan in American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace, Criss is already firmly within the FX family, and is more than capable of expressing the right mix of Yorick’s misplaced self-assuredness and frequent self-doubt.
Donald Glover: Another member of the FX family, albeit one who is likely too embroiled with his own Atlanta (and film and music careers) to take on the lead role of such a sprawling series. With that said, Glover possesses all the warmth, humanity and wit Yorick is known for; what’s more, he’s expressed an interest in the comic book and superhero spaces, what with his Spider-Man connection, as well as his recently scrapped Deadpool adaptation at FX.
Dylan O’Brien: The Teen Wolf alum stands out as an easy choice for the Y: The Last Man starring gig. He’s the right age for the role, and brings the right level of name recognition as well.
Elijah Wood: A bit outside of the ideal age range for Yorick, the Lord of the Rings veteran has nonetheless floated his own name forward for Y: The Last Man in the past. Given his previous affiliation with FX through Wilfred and the recent cancellation of his BBC America series Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, the timing and venue might be right for Wood to take on this coveted comic book role.
Joe Keery: He’s currently tied up with Stranger Things season three, but he can’t go on playing Steve Harrington forever. One could easily see the Netflix star walking away from the Upside Down and into this entirely different surreal universe, one in which the world has gone upside down in its own right.
Liam Hemsworth: He wouldn’t be the first of the Hemsworth siblings to wind up on an attention-grabbing genre show: brother Luke has already beat him there with Westworld. Liam seems more comfortable on the big screen, with only a handful of television appearances in his career, but the actor might find Y: The Last Man a worthy challenge.
Logan Lerman: With a relatively low profile since the Percy Jackson days, Lerman has long been a name tossed around various comic book adaptations, most famously the two recent Spider-Man reboots. Now 26, Lerman is the right age to take on a character like Yorick; the humble work he invested in The Perks of Being a Wallflower only adds to the reasons why he would make a great “last man.”
Michael B. Jordan: Given his rising star in Hollywood, it’s hard to imagine the Black Panther star signing on for a TV series as demanding as Y: The Last Man. But Jordan has dabbled in small-screen territory as recently as the forthcoming Fahrenheit 451 original movie slated to hit HBO in May. what’s more, Jordan has multiple comic book credits to his name between Black Panther and Fantastic Four, not to mention the “comic book adjacent” movie Chronicle and a recurring role on Netflix superhero series Raising Dion.
Nick Robinson: From appearing in the juggernaut known as Jurassic World and his recent breakout role in Love, Simon, Robinson is perfectly positioned to headline a series of his own. The heart and humor he’s displayed in his career are perfect attributes to bring to a role like Yorick.
Rupert Grint: Ron Weasley, last man standing? Hey, he was the only one of the trio who temporarily tapped out of the Deathly Hallows mission … classic Yorick style, in other words. He’s dipped his toe into the television arena before; why not for Y? Come to think of it (and as a bonus pick here), Harry himself wouldn’t be a bad pick for the gig. Daniel Radcliffe once lamented that “a lot of comic book [roles] have” been seized already, but perhaps Yorick is the one he’s been waiting for.
Steven Yeun: Is the world ready for the erstwhile Glenn Rhee to return to the world of comic book TV adaptations? Ready or not, The Walking Dead alum would be perfect for Yorick: earnest and light at first glance, with an ability to traverse darker corners as the role would demand.
Who do you want to see as Yorick Brown? List some of your suggestions in the comments below, and keep checking THR.com/LiveFeed for more on the show’s development.