Earlier today I spent some time at the Amblin offices where, as part of Paramount’s pre- Comic Con webmaster’s day, I saw the first two reels of Eagle Eye and sat in on a Q&A with director DJ Caruso and writers Alex Kurtzman and Robert Orci. That full Q&A will be up shortly, but the real interesting stuff came when IESB’s Robert Sanchez asked Caruso about his plans for Brian K Vaughn’s comic series Y: The Last Man.
So Y The Last Man is going to happen?
It’s probably going to be happening, yeah. With New Line now part of Warner Brothers, Warners is now very high on the project. And Carl Ellsworth and I are probably going to deliver the script to WB/New Line by next week.
Post-Q&A I cornered Caruso along with Sanchez and Frosty from Collider, and each of us got in a few more questions regarding Y. I’ll run this as part of the full transcript later on, but here’s the material specifically regarding plans for the adaptation for your easy reference.
For even easier reference, here’s the short form: Caruso wants to prep in October, begin shooting in January with Shia LaBeouf starring and have the film ready for summer 2010.
Can you elaborate on what you mean when you say that you’ve cracked Y?
What I mean by that is that there’s so much to choose from. Just trying to narrow down the story, and in all the drafts written over the years there’s a lot of great stuff in there, but what I think Y was missing in screenplay form was a ticking clock. So we did something where we separated Yorick from [pet monkey] Ampersand for a brief period of time where Yorick gets very sick, which kind of opened up the movie in the middle of the act.
And also the Agent 355 / Yorick relationship to me has always been sort of a Deniro / Grodin thing. And so I was working on that and not quite getting it right, believe it or not. Because Yorick to me is so solid, it’s really like 355 and her journey with Yorick that’s been…and also Act 3, where do you end the first movie and how can you go from there? But I think we licked it.
So is this a trilogy?
I see it as a trilogy. I definitely see it as a trilogy. I see the first movie ending anywhere basically when you pick up after the incident you’re picking up about six weeks later, meeting Yorkick six weeks later after the incident and progressing down, I think it’s about…only a five or six week journey from that point to the end of the first movie.
It’s been hard, in a good way, just because there’s so much good stuff to choose from, and every time you start throwing certain scenes in the screenplay you’ll see that it sort of dislodges and starts to head a different way.
When do you think this might happen?
In a perfect world, and I was talking to Shia about this yesterday because he really wants to do it as well, I would like to prep this movie in October and shoot by January.
So you’re thinking summer 2010?
2010. That’s what I’ve been hearing. Warner Brothers is saying ‘we need movies for 2010!’ And I say ‘we’re the movie!’ I’ve got a movie star, I’ve got a great comic book, whatever.
And Shia has reached the point where with him and you together…
He has, yeah. He definitely has. But you want to get it right. You don’t want to make the movie just for that reason.
So he would do it?
He wants to do it, I want to do it. The thing we have to worry about is him being exhausted. So I said if I prep in the fall and we start in January, that’s a nice big break.
Would you film in Australia?
Eh….maybe. I don’t know. That’s where she goes, but we’re not going to follow that throughline too much in the first film, god willing. We’ve been working on it, showing Vaughn all the things, he’s really happy with this and I just want to fine-tune it before giving it to the studio because I always think that first impression…you know. Because to them, it’s Warner Brothers now, you’re re-educating a new crew.
In going to Warner Brothers, could you end up with a bigger budget?
Honestly I’m still trying to figure out the landscape because I know New Line is going to exist the way Castle Rock existed years ago. So they still have autonomy but now I think if it gets over a certain budget level that’s when Warners and New Line pair up. I think that we’ll probably fit in that budget level. I’m still going to give it to Toby Emmerich, then I don’t know if he has to go to Alan Horn, all I know is my agents keep saying ‘Warner Brothers wants this!’