A screen adaptation of this popular graphic novel has been “in the works” since, at least, 2008.
Last we wrote about it, 2+ years ago, it was announced that New Line Cinema had made the project one of its “first priorities.”
Further, New Line was said to have been “very pleased” with a draft of the script from Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia (both former “Jericho” writers), and the hunt had begun for a director. Not long after that, a director was hired for the job: Dan Trachtenberg, primarily a director of commercials, who, at the time, apparently had geek-cred, previously making a short film based on the video game “Portal,” which went viral, generating over 10 million hits on YouTube alone.
Nothing came of any of that news, as not long after, Brian K. Vaughan (creator of the comic) announced that the movie was dead.
Skip ahead to today, to an announcement that an adaptation of the original material would take another form…
FX network is developing a TV series based on the post-apocalyptic graphic novel franchise, and the cable network has tapped Michael Green (who is currently co-showrunning Starz’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods” alongside Bryan Fuller) to serve as writer and showrunner; the news comes courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter, who add that the project is in development at FX, and not much more unfortunately.
In the “Y: The Last Man” comic book series, Yorick Brown, a young amateur escape artist, and his monkey, Ampersand, suddenly become the last two male beings on earth after something mysterious wipes out every mammal on the planet possessing a Y chromosome – including embryos, fertilized eggs, and even sperm. Society is plunged into chaos as infrastructures collapse and the surviving women everywhere try to cope with the loss of the men.
Yorick goes on a mission to find his girlfriend Beth, who is supposed to be on vacation in Australia, and is accompanied by a bodyguard named Agent 355.
So why do we care about this project here on S&A, since the central character is white and male? Well, it’s with Agent 355 that our interests primarily lie – she happens to be a black woman.
Way back in 2008, Alicia Keys was the then producer’s choice to play Agent 355, who is an employee of a secretive US government agency, described in brief as a bad-ass who kicks butt and confidently handles a variety of weapons.
Alicia Keys was the producer’s first choice for what was to initially be a film adaptation, but he also mentioned Zoe Saldana, adding that, by the time the film was to be released, “‘Star Trek’ [the first film] will be out and she’ll be huge”; obviously hoping to capitalize on any added popularity Saldana was expected to gain after “Star Trek’s” release.
And while “Star Trek” was released, and was relatively huge for Saldana, no “Y: The Last Man” film adaptation ever materialized.
Rosario Dawson was another name that was mentioned at that time.
But maybe FX, should the network indeed move ahead with its serialized version of the graphic novel, will find one possible contender for Agent 355 when they take a look at filmmaker Christian Cardona’s fan-made short film adaptation of the graphic novel, which stars Kent King as Agent 355. This was produced at least 3 years ago.
But there’s a juicy role here for a young black actress to play, assuming FX doesn’t make any adjustments to the characters as written. A Google search will reveal several different interpretations of the character; I’ve embedded 3 within this post (2 above; 1 below, after the short film).
Watch Cardona’s fan-made short film (Kent King first appears as Agent 355 around the 9:15 mark):