The news comes after showrunner Eliza Clark took to Twitter to announce that the TV adaptation of Brian K. Vaughan’s acclaimed graphic novel series “will not be moving forward with FX on Hulu for season 2.”
Y: The Last Man – which follows the plight of Yorick Brown, the last cisgender male human on Earth – spent more than a decade in development with various studios, enduring several failed attempts to bring its comic book story to the screen before FX finally commissioned a TV show in 2018.
My statement on Y: THE LAST MAN and Season 2. pic.twitter.com/rFtb6pXu5iOctober 17, 2021
That doesn’t mean a second season definitely won’t happen, mind. “We’re sad YTLM is not going forward [at the studio],” Clark said in her tweet, “but we know that someone else is going to be very lucky to have this team and this story […] We are committed to finding Y its next home.”
It seems, then, that a presumptive second season for Y: The Last Man is up for grabs to any streamer or studio willing to take it on.
A challenging subject
In our review of the series’ first season, we described Y: The Last Man as “a show that just about deserves your attention” – which is rather indicative of the decidedly lukewarm reception to the live-action adaptation, and one evidently shared by FX itself.
That reception likely didn’t come as a surprise to Y: The Last Man’s creator, either. During a recent appearance on THR’s dedicated TV podcast, Vaughan acknowledged that his comic is concerned with “challenging subject matter” that makes (and made) big-screen adaptation problematic.
Speaking of previous attempts to theatrically adapt his story, Vaughan said Y: The Last Man was often diluted and sanitized so much that it “lost everything” and was bordering on “becoming cartoonish,” adding that “[the story] can only be [told] on television.”
Showrunner Clark also told THR’s podcast that she envisioned the show as a five-season, 50-episode series – signing off her announcement tweet by saying “we don’t want it to end.”
As for whether Y: The Last Man will find a new studio home and receive a second series, then, the jury is out. As acknowledged by both Vaughan and Clark, this is a difficult story that demands – and perhaps deserves – telling across more than just a single season.
The show’s first season was by no means bad, either. Y: The Last Man boasted a cinematic quality to match some of the biggest shows out there right now, one that meant its complex themes were explored in a very visceral and comprehensive way – its episodes just needed to move a little quicker.
But perhaps that ponderous pace, one that reflected an equally slow development cycle, proved the final nail in the coffin for a show that looks to have crash landed on takeoff.