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Louis Leterrier Discusses ‘Y: The Last Man’

Written by on November 11, 2010 

The film adaptation in the works right now that I find the most exciting and the most risky is that of Brian K. Vaughan’s masterful comic series Y: The Last Man. The very basic outline of the story follows Yorick Brown, an amateur escape artist and his pet monkey Ampersand who are the only survivors of the death of every male mammal on the planet and who must travel to Australia to find his girlfriend. It’s one of the best comics I’ve ever read, and has plenty of room for a movie version. There’s action, sci-fi, romance, humor, and wonderful character work that could make for something truly great in another medium. The problem is that it’s an expansive series at 60 issues, and a lot of the great things mentioned come from all that room to tell the story.

When Louis Leterrier was rumored to have jumped on the project in April, I became a little disheartened at his involvement. He’s done some fun things like The Incredible Hulk, but doesn’t seem to have the skill required to tell this story. Discussion of the project seemed to die down, but if an interview he participated in with MTV (via LatinoReview) is to be believed, the movie may be stalled. But it could still happen, just in a different medium.

It’s kind of stuck somewhere now; I still want to do it. I’m passionate about it. But it’s stuck. People don’t know what to do with it. I’d love to do it, but I need people to finance it, and the people financing it don’t know if it’s a TV show a movie, or what it should be.

Expanding on the idea of doing it as a TV show, he said:

You take time to get to know your characters. You can introduce a lot of characters. You don’t need your three-action set pieces that you usually need for movies. Frankly, with HBO and Showtime and cable shows, the DVD box sets and all, you can have a product that doesn’t make you feel like as soon as it’s projected, it’s thrown away. It’s really a piece of art.

I don’t have anything against the guy, but he seems all wrong for this material. There’s heavy thematic and character work at play in this story, and I would defy anybody to show me where those things appear in his directorial output. If you were to make it more of an action film then he’s right, but I would hope they don’t dumb it down for mass audiences. Maybe with a TV show they can tell the story properly, but you would need heavy production values, which almost by default would send it to HBO or Showtime. The Walking Dead has been getting very good reviews on AMC, but premium cable is also needed due o some content that is integral to the story but would also need to be severely watered down, and I wouldn’t want that. But I also don’t want Leterrier involved, so I have to make some concessions to begin with.

What do you think of this? Do you want Letterier involved?

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