A decade in the past, when Eliza Clark learn Y: The Final Man for the primary time, she saved eager about how she would adapt it for tv. “It combined so many things that I loved,” she tells The Verge. The story takes place after a mysterious occasion that kills off everybody with a Y chromosome, except a person named Yorrick (and his monkey). She describes it as “such an interesting look at identity.” On the time, she was working as a author’s assistant, so it was principally a dream. However 10 years later — after a number of stops engaged on reveals like The Killing and Rubicon — Clark acquired the prospect to guide FX’s live-action model of Y: The Final Man. It was a chance not solely to adapt a sequence she cherished, however to replace it for contemporary audiences.

“I definitely didn’t want to make something that had an essentialist view of gender,” she says. “And I think the show makes clear, early and often, that Yorrick is not the last man. That was something that I felt needed to be updated from the source material.”

The present, which debuts subsequent week on FX on Hulu, follows the identical fundamental premise because the ebook, with a lot of it set after a cataclysmic occasion that leads to each cisgender male on the planet dying. The exception is Yorrick (Ben Schnetzer), a slacker, wannabe escape artist, and son of a high-ranking US politician. The sequence — no less than for the primary six episodes I’ve been in a position to watch — follows a reasonably large forged making their manner by this newly desolate world.

Alongside Yorrick, there’s Agent 355 (Ashley Romans), a undercover agent tasked with defending him; the newly carried out president, Jennifer Brown (Diane Lane); Sam Jordan (Elliot Fletcher), a good friend who helps Yorrick’s sister Hero (Olivia Thirlby) survive a troublesome journey; and Kimberly Campbell Cunningham (Amber Tamblyn) a best-selling conservative creator who additionally occurs to be the daughter of the now-deceased president; amongst others. Along with a forged that’s full of girls, the TV model additionally places a much bigger deal with trans males, together with a brand-new character, performed by Fletcher, who has a big function within the first season.

Picture by Rafy Winterfeld / FX Networks

“I wanted to make it clear that he was not the only male,” Clark says of Yorrick’s place within the story. “I really think the show is an ensemble. I never wanted to make something that boils people down in such a specific way. The show is not about how men and women are different. It’s about people and nature and the diversity of gender. He’s important, but he’s not the main character. He’s the story engine.” She provides that one among her targets was to point out that “the world is far more vast and varied and beautiful than the binary definition of man and woman.”

In a blog post about working on the series, author Charlie Jane Anders defined, “When you update a beloved-but-problematic story, you shouldn’t have to choose between fixing the problems and preserving the stuff you love. You can trust that expanding the picture to include everyone who has been left out will only make the story better, and that questioning the assumptions at the root of the story will lead to a smarter version. Y: The Last Man is a thought experiment that asks big questions about gender and human nature — and including more variables only makes an experiment more robust.”

Clark says she was largely given free rein over the mission, and that included the blessing of authentic author, Brian Ok. Vaughan. “Brian knew I was a fan of the book, so hopefully he felt safe in that,” she explains. “He read scripts when I asked him to, and we talked about things like casting. But he very much was like, ‘I made this when I was 25 years old, and I can’t even remember who I was then. So take this and run with it,’ which I appreciated.” On the subject of altering the fabric, she notes that “the comic book is a medium unto itself. It’s not a blueprint for television.”

Picture by Rafy Winterfeld / FX Networks

Determining tone has been a persistent problem for post-apocalyptic tales amid the present pandemic, whether or not it’s The Final of Us or Candy Tooth, and Y wasn’t an exception. The primary episode may be very grim — it covers the occasion itself, which suggests plenty of deaths — however from there, issues loosen up (no less than considerably) with a mixture of humor, motion, and characters who’re genuinely making an attempt to do good. “I think the thing that sets this show apart is it does have an optimistic view of the power of people to change, and the power of relationships,” Clark says of her strategy. “At the beginning, it’s dark because a dark thing happens and half the world dies, and I didn’t want to make light of that.”

One of many extra lighthearted parts of the present is Yorrick’s pet monkey Ampersand. Within the present, Amp is definitely a CG creation created by famed results studio ILM, a reality Clark says she was “terrified” about. “The visual style of the show is so gritty and realistic,” she says. “You’re getting really close to people’s faces, you’re seeing skin, you’re seeing sweat. You’re close to people, and then you pan over, and there’s a cartoon monkey — I did not want that.”

For probably the most half, it labored. Earlier than speaking to Clark, I wasn’t really certain if Amp was completely a CG creation or if there was additionally an actual animal on set. And that’s precisely how she likes it. “I want people to know how hard ILM worked on it,” she says with fun, “but I also don’t want people to know that he’s CG.”

Y: The Final Man premieres September thirteenth on FX on Hulu.


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