Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s celebrated post-apocalyptic comic series Y: The Last Man is finally coming to the small screen at FX on Hulu.
After a few aborted movie projects, production delays, and years of rumours, the Y: The Last Man series is ready to launch.
Read on for everything we know, from where to watch to who’s involved to what we can expect when the show hits the Disney-owned streamer.
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What is the Y: The Last Man series about?
Based on the comic series from DC’s Vertigo Comics, Y: The Last Man has a rather fascinating premise.
When an apocalyptic event kills every living mammal with a Y chromosome, the world is suddenly dominated by women. In the comic, the existence of transgender identities was acknowledged, but the premise was broadly presented as an event that killed off the world’s men.
The series will, in contrast, have trans characters. They may be male, female, or non-binary characters, according to showrunner Eliza Clark, who spoke at a Television Critics Association press panel earlier this year where she addressed the show’s treatment of gender and identity. What the survivors will have in common is that none of them carries a Y chromosome.
Y: The Last Man will affirm trans identities.
But one cisgender man mysteriously remains alive, Y chromosome intact.
Why was Yorick (and his male pet monkey Ampersand) spared the gruesome fate of so many? How did this global tragedy occur? What does the world look like with everyone who carries a Y chromosome gone?
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It’s no secret that cisgender men have benefited a great deal from systemic inequality. From CEOs to soldiers to doctors to truck drivers to airline pilots — it’s a man’s world, as the Y: The Last Man trailer’s soundtrack reminds us. And the elimination of (mostly) men sets up a fascinating what-if scenario.
The series will follow survivors looking to find out what happened while working to create a better way forward.
When and where can you watch it?
Y: The Last Man will premiere September 13 and is expected to air weekly for the duration of its 10-episode first season.
The show is an FX production and will be available as a streaming exclusive via FX on Hulu.
Through its international Star imprint, Disney Plus will host Y: The Last Man in Canada, the U.K., and elsewhere. The series will stream on the same day as its Hulu schedule, meaning it will also premiere September 13 in those markets.
After a number of casting changes outlined in the sections below, the Y: The Last Man series stars the following actors, including some pretty big names:
- Diane Lane as Jennifer Brown
- Ashley Romans as Agent 355
- Ben Schnetzer as Yorick Brown
- Olivia Thirlby as Hero Brown
- Amber Tamblyn as Kimberly Campbell Cunningham
- Marin Ireland as Nora Brady
- Diana Bang as Dr. Allison Mann
- Elliot Fletcher as Sam Jordan
- Juliana Canfield as Beth Deville
- Missi Pyle as Roxanne
- Paul Gross as the president of the United States
The show was developed by showrunner Eliza Clark, who wrote the first two episodes, directed by Louise Friedberg. Clark also serves as executive producer, along with Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Mari Jo Winkler-Ioffreda, and comic creators Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra.
Notably, as a press release from FX explains, “all episodes of the season will be directed by women and the production has a significant number of female department heads, including both DPs, the production designer, costume designer, casting director, editors, stunt coordinator, and more.”
Didn’t they try to make this before?
New Line Cinema attempted to adapt Y: The Last Man as a film as early as 2007. That was a year before the comic had even concluded. Disturbia and I Am Number Four director D.J. Caruso was tapped to direct, with Red Eye and Disturbia’s Carl Ellsworth on board to write. Shia LaBoeuf and Zachary Levi were discussed for the role of Yorick, and comic co-creator Brian K. Vaughan drafted a script himself at one point.
The project remained in limbo for years over various creative differences including whether the film should be a standalone feature or part of a trilogy. Eventually the rights reverted to Vaughan and Pia Guerra in 2014.
A few creative teams tried to get a Y: The Last Man movie off the ground before the series was greenlit.
Then FX finally got its hands on the rights to the books in 2015.
This iteration of Y: The Last Man also went through a few rewrites and changes in creative teams though. The original showrunners, who shot a pilot before the series was ordered, exited due to creative differences in 2019.
Eliza Clark stepped in with a plan to shoot the season with the same cast, though further delays and the replacement of Yorick actor Barry Keoghan with Ben Schnetzer meant the team wasn’t ready to shoot until early 2020.
Did COVID-19 affect the Y: The Last Man series?
After all those production delays, Y: The Last Man also hit a pretty major snag when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Y: The Last Man joins a huge number of shows like Apple TV Plus’ The Morning Show, HBO Max‘s Gossip Girl, Hulu‘s The Handmaid’s Tale, Netflix‘s Grace & Frankie, and more that had to postpone production due to the pandemic.
Production on Y: The Last Man was due to start in March 2020, but it was moved to October when a lockdown in Toronto prevented filming. That last delay led to more recasts, with Ashley Romans and Olivia Thirlby taking over roles that Lashana Lynch and Imogen Poots, respectively, were originally set for.
Filming on season one wrapped in July 2021 in Toronto.
What can you expect?
Folks who have read the Y: The Last Man comics know to expect political intrigue, cross-country adventure, conspiracy theories galore, and more than likely some modern-day Amazons.
But not too much is known about the series specifically.
We do know from comments by showrunner Eliza Clark that trans representation will be a part of the Y: The Last man series in a way that was largely ignored in the comics.
“Yorick’s maleness is not what sets him apart in this world — it’s his Y chromosome that sets him apart,” Clark has said. “Gender is diverse and chromosomes are not equal to gender. And so, in our world — in the world of the television show — every living mammal with a Y chromosome dies. Tragically, that includes many women; it includes non-binary people; it includes intersex people… We are making a show that affirms that trans women are women, trans men are men, non-binary people are non-binary, and that is part of the richness of of the world we get to play with.”
Beyond that, you’ll have to watch to the Y: The Last Man series to learn more.
Check it out on FX on Hulu starting September 13.