HERE THERE BE SPOILERS.
Finished up Brian K. Vaughn’s 60-issue Y: THE LAST MAN series last week and got to seeking out details on the film, which was announced as being in development last July with D.J. Caruso of DISTURBIA fame directing and possibly Shia LaBeouf as Yorick. (Hey, Mr. D.J. – Naomie Harris as 355?) You probably already know that the story is about a…something or other that wipes out all of the males on Earth, save a 22 year-old amateur magician (Yorick) and his capuchin monkey Ampersand. They travel the world with guardian agent 355, seeking out new life and new…wait, sorry, seeking to save humanity and locate Yorick’s girlfriend Beth (last known whereabouts: Australia). Complications arise.
OK – it’s a solid series that deserves adaptation, and you can see why LOST scooped Vaughn up. But Caruso wants to make it a trilogy, because – and I’m paraphrasing here – “There’s too much good stuff that shouldn’t be cut out.” The first movie would end around issue 14.
Pardon my simplistic nature, but isn’t that what adaptations are all about? They made movies of out GONE WITH THE WIND, OLIVER TWIST, etc. without including everything, yet still managed to stick the landings. Slavish devotion to the originals gives you the interminable THE SHINING mini-series rather than the masterful THE SHINING Kubrick film. It gives you the (sorry folks) visually impressive but otherwise unfortunate SIN CITY. When did filmmakers and genre fans become so rigid?
As for Y… a post-apocalyptic, decidedly adult (or at least teen) story trilogy in which the main villians are radical feminists, Israelis, and a seriously f’d-up family of Japanese scientists, and which does not definitively answer the question “Hey, why did all the dudes die?” does not seem like trilogy material. This may be a “suit” perspective, but I don’t see how, financially, it could sustain a series of theatrical releases – not at today’s budgets.
Y is a series and therefore EPISODIC. As in episodes. As in – if you want to include all the details, then put the darn thing on HBO (as has been considered) where it would fit in wonderfully and you could explore every twist and turn in as much depth as you like.
But if it MUST be a theatrical release, please filmmakers, make an awesome stand-alone Y film with zero fat that brings the story through its complete arc. Look at 28 DAYS LATER – undoubtedly the road-trip adventures of Jim and the gang could have been filled with many more happenings, but would that have actually made it a better film? Did the world need 28 WEEKS LATER? (Correct answers: no, and no.)