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Y: The Last Man‘s long path to the screen wound up being longer than its life on-screen.
Showrunner Eliza Clark and star Amber Tamblyn took to Twitter on Sunday to announce that the adaptation of Brian K. Vaughan’s beloved comics will not return for a second season on FX on Hulu. The news, which FX has yet to confirm but sources told THR happened Friday, comes after a more than decade-long development process that saw the IP bounce around between studios and filmmakers before landing at FX for development back in 2015.
Clark, who took over as showrunner from Michael Green and Aida Croal, noted in her lengthy and thoughtful statement that she hopes the series about gender and identity will find another outlet. “FX has been an amazing partner,” she wrote. “We are committed to finding Y its next home.”
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 Green and 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. The series also changed leading men, after Warcraft and Pride alum Ben Schnetzer was tapped to star, taking over the role of Yorick Brown — the last living cisgender man on Earth — from Barry Keoghan, who departed the drama starring Diane Lane.
Ordered to series in 2018, Y followed escape artist Yorick after a mysterious plague as he sets out to find what might have wiped out the male chromosome. Lane and Amber Tamblyn co-starred. Tamblyn also took to social to note that she was “disappointed” the show would not be moving forward at FX on Hulu, where the bulk of FX originals now debut. “I know this extraordinary show that has so much to say, and that says it so well, will find a great new home soon. Looking forward to the next chapter,” she wrote. “If you’re with me, let the world know.
During a September interview with TV’s Top 5 podcast, Vaughan conceded that his comic wasn’t the easiest to adapt for either a film or TV series. “It turns out to be challenging subject matter,” Vaughan said. He noted that film takes chopped his source material down to the point where it “lost everything” and it was bordering on “becoming cartoonish.” “It can only be on television,” Vaughan said. Clark, meanwhile, was a fan of the comics for more than a decade and was interested in exploring society’s conversation about how gender has changed in the past 20 years. “I didn’t want to change Y but wanted to take ideas that were so potent 20 years ago and move them into the world we’re living in now,” she told the THR podcast, adding that she envisioned Y as a five-season, 50-episode series.
That plan will now need some serious help.
Here’s Clark’s full post:
My statement on Y: THE LAST MAN and Season 2. pic.twitter.com/rFtb6pXu5i
— Eliza Clark (@TheElizaClark) October 17, 2021
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