Fans of Brian K. Vaughan’s beloved comic series Y: The Last Man got a dose of good news today, when FX announced that it was picking up a new TV pilot based on Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s tale of a world where (nearly) all the men suddenly drop dead. You’ll forgive us, though, if we don’t immediately start jumping for joy at potentially sunny news about a Y adaptation; after all, our creaky old bones have been down this road before.
In fact, looking back, we were kind of shocked to realize just how long The A.V. Club has been writing about this particular pop-culture Lazarus story; our coverage dates back through several editorial staffs, almost 40 other comic-based movies, and the majority of the Obama administration. Even our first Newswire on the project, from 2010—back when it was still being developed as a movie—came into the story in media res, with a postmortem from former director D.J. Caruso about why he was leaving a film that was already being viewed as a somewhat troubled property.
The problem then—as with so many attempts to cut sprawling comic epics like Y or Neil Gaiman’s Sandman into a manageable cinematic form—was length, something that FX’s TV version, which is being helmed by Michael Green and Aida Mashaka Croal, will hopefully be able to correct. (Don’t worry about Caruso, though; he’s doing just fine, having recently directed Vin Diesel’s latest xXx.)
Post-Caruso, the film migrated over to the hands of 10 Cloverfield Lane director Dan Trachtenberg, back in his pre-friends-with-J.J. Abrams days. (Meanwhile, our coverage at the time was still referring to Stephen King’s The Dark Tower as a similarly unlikely-to-be-adapted property, in case you need to calibrate your temporal context.) Like its titular escape artist hero, though, the project was just a little too slippery to stay under control, and Trachtenberg exited the project in 2014. A year later—and, ironically, only after Vaughan had already stepped away from his TV duties on Under The Dome, so that he could focus on more of his comics writing—the property was revived as a potential series at FX. That’s where it’s been very slowly gestating until today, when it seems like some actual footage of the show might actually get shot, a little over a decade since the original comic series wrapped up in March 2008. Phew!
As for said project: Green and Croal will co-showrun the series, with Melina Matsoukas directing the pilot. Green recently cut ties with Starz’s American Gods adaptation, while Croal’s recent credits include scripts for Jessica Jones and Luke Cage. Matsoukas, for her part, is a well-known music video director who frequently works with Beyoncé, and who recently handled several episodes of Issa Rae’s Insecure.
Meanwhile—and if this whole eight-year ordeal is any proof—we’re pretty sure we’ll see an adaptation of Vaughan’s more recent comic hit, the bizarre, highly sexual and hilarious Saga, on TV some time in the year 2000-no-fucking-way.