shia in y: the last man

In a day of superhero overload, Brian K Vaughn‘s Y: The Last Man is the perfect comic book series for a Hollywood big screen (or even small screen) adaptation. If you haven’t yet read the series, pick up the paperback (or the new hardcover) of the first volume, as I very highly recommend it.

Disturbia director DJ Caruso has been trying to get the project off the ground for a few years now, and Caruso’s frequent star Shia LaBeouf was interested in starring in a film adaptation. A script was in development, the first in a reported trilogy of adaptations — a potential franchise. But as time has passed, so has Shia’s interest. The Transformers star now tells Wizard Magazine that he’s not currently willing to make the film, and he may be too old for the role by the time that the project does get greenlit.

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DJ Caruso Wants to Shoot Y: The Last Man in IMAX

Christopher Nolan’s use of the IMAX camera for The Dark Knight has caused filmmakers to reconsider how they will shoot the future of tentpole movies. First Jon Favreau said he would be interested in filming scenes from Iron Man 2 with IMAX cameras, and now DJ Caruso tells Collider that he has already thought about using the 70mm technology for sequences in the yet to be greenlit adaptation of Y: The Last Man. But for now, Caruso’s Eagle Eye is making history, as the first Hollywood film to be released in Digital IMAX in 15 locations.

Discuss: What upcoming films would you like to see scenes shot in IMAX? The Hobbit seems like the most obvious choice…

I’m a huge fan of Y: The Last Man, so it only makes sense that I’m very excited about the possibility of a big screen movie adaptation. DJ Caruso isn’t my first choice to direct that film, but if he can get Shia LaBeouf to star as Yorick – than I’m happy (I mean, think of how bad it could be with one of the stars from High School Musical as the lead?!). And everything DJ Caruso has said so far has convinced me that this guy has a good grip on the story… until now.

The filmmaker revealed to FirstShowing one of the big changes he made from the comic: the addition of a “ticking clock”, which makes sense. Since the film is being set up as the first in a trilogy (last I heard), you need to create a climax that satisfies the audience, but doesn’t end the adventure. But the ticking clock that Caruso came up with sounds rather stupid.

“One big change is that we put in a ‘ticking clock’ with Yorick and Ampersand, and I separated them, and Yorick starts to get a little sick when Ampersand’s not with him. I felt like we needed some kind of ticking clock so it wasn’t just a boy and his monkey.”

I have yet to finish the last couple books of the series due to my busy schedule, but I’m pretty sure that this separation sickness can’t be explained in the context of the story from the graphic novel. And the whole idea sounds very Hollywood (in a bad way) to me. Caruso claims that Y co-creator Brian K Vaughn “loved” the addition.

Caruso handed in a script to Warner Bros/New Line last week, and claims he will be tweaking it over the course of the next month. He insists that “In another month or so it should be ready.” Lets just hope that WB gives Caruso the budget he needs to bring Y to the big screen.

Discuss: In the movie, should Yorick and Ampersand get sick when they are apart from one another?

We’ve known for a while that D.J. Caruso‘s first film in a planned Y: The Last Man trilogy was aiming for 2010, and he’s given a new update to UGO. The director of Disturbia and Eagle Eye confirms that the script by Carl Ellsworth (Disturbia, Red Eye) was turned in last week to Warner Bros., a studio that’s said to be heavily enthusiastic and committed to the big budget endeavor. Moreover, he added that while Shia LaBeouf remains attached to the main character—a young Brooklynite named Yorick Brown who becomes the last man on an Earth populated with combative, horny women—the previously rumored Alicia Keys is not a lock to play Yorick’s government-hired protector codenamed 355

“She’s definitely someone to consider.  I thought she did a really cool job in [Smokin’ Aces]… So really, the one thing, I think I’ve mentioned this to you, I’m going for, and it’s not quite there yet on the page.  I’d love to have sort of a (Robert) DeNiro/(Charles) Grodin relationship between 355 and (Yorick).  Kind of a Midnight Run relationship…I think Alicia’s a great girl and everything but I have to make sure that she can handle the acting part of it.”

Midnight Run, eh? We’re big fans of the comic series at Slashfilm, so here’s hoping Caruso goes with another actress, possibly an unknown, and not the musician/aspiring Bond Girl. One name I’ve heard tossed around a bit with fans is Vivica Fox, based, I’m guessing, on her surprisingly good, albeit brief, performance and action skills in Kill Bill. She’s a little old for the part though, even if she did deliver laughs and sex appeal on Curb Your Enthusiasm. All requisites for 355. Any casting suggestions in the comments? And Caruso informs that fans have already mentioned Kill Bill‘s Lucy Liu for the part of Dr. Mann—a brilliant hands-on Chinese/Japanese geneticist who happens to be a lesbian—but he hasn’t given any actresses much consideration. Mann would play a larger part in a proposed second film.

Caruso let it be known that Yorick’s monkey Ampersand—a seminal character in the comics—will in fact be a real monkey in the film(s). Great news. It worked in Matthew Broderick’s Project X, and it can work here (no monkey pilots).

Brian K. Vaughn‘s Y: The Last Man is going to be really tough to develop. There’s the sheer size—Caruso has implied that all or part of the subplot with Yorick’s girlfriend in Australia may be kiboshed—but also enough philosophical implications and discussions therein, not to mention pop-culture references, to stretch out a semester in college. And while the comic books are “R-rated” (violence, sexuality), this will most likely be a PG-13 summer popcorn film(s). Caruso seems to have a good communication going with Vaughn, so we’re optimistic, but he’ll need to channel some early Spielbergian wonder and some of that director’s dark period tone and visuals to see it through. We’ll avoid referencing a certain scene in Indy IV.

Discuss: Any casting suggestions for Ampersand? 355?

With Matthew Vaughn off directing Kick-Ass and his once-proposed $300 million Thor epic but a memory, DJ Caruso (Disturbia, Eagle Eye) is now expressing interest in bringing Marvel‘s Son of Odin to the big screen. In an interview with IESB he said…

“…I would definitely tackle it and I sort of wrestled with it before and I was always a fan of Thor growing up as a kid. I know that they [Marvel] have a script, but there’s something, there’s a fear I have about Thor and depending on what Thor story you want to tell, whether you want to bring Thor into the modern world or if you want to go back to Asgard…”

He added that he’s even had talks with Marvel about the film, but it all comes down to the screenplay. Last year, screenwriter Mark Protosevich (I Am Legend, longtime Thor fan/collector) described his script to the Daily Herald as…

“It’s going to be like a super hero origin story, but not one about a human gaining super powers, but of a god realizing his true potential. It’s the story of a Old Testament god who becomes a new Testament god. I think it’s going to surprise a lot of people.”

And Vaughn was attracted to the project due to its pricey vision of Norse mythology, saying, “It’s very much a Marvel superhero story but against the backdrop of something you’ve never seen before.” All of which lends credence to a storyline focusing on Asgard and Thor’s villainous brother, Loki.

In the past, Peter hasn’t been too convinced that this character will work on film (Adventures in Babysitting excluded?), but mixing LOTR and Conan-like fantasy, a timeline that can jump across thousands of years, and a huge budget sits well with me. I like the idea of seeing iconic comic characters placed in film genres like War and Pulp Noir rather than running around another modern day metropolis; though Thor could go that direction as well. Caruso is still circling Y: The Last Man with Shia LaBeouf (and hopefully not Alicia Keys), a property that is nearly as challenging to pull off as this one in my opinion (I’ve got 15 issues to go).

And in a report on 20th Century Fox‘s future plans, Variety says the studio is mulling “the possibility of more X-Men spinoffs, including a young-X-Men project as well as Deadpool, based on a character played by Ryan Reynolds in Wolverine. The studio is even considering reviving the Daredevil property.”

In the summer of 2003, the groanable Ben Affleck-starrer coasted to a disappointing $102 million, and led many to predict the cooling of the comic book film, especially after the hokey 2005 Elektra spin-off (which Johnson produced). Recently, Jason Statham threw his name in for a DD remake. While I’m not adverse to that hypothetical casting, since a reboot would remain parked at Fox and not Marvel Studios, I do hope it stays on ice a while longer. Peter has suggested that the character is perfect for a live-action HBO series, and I agree. There is a humanity and struggle—not to mention room for a great procedural drama—to Daredevil that would be better explored on a smaller screen rather than in a me-too blockbuster.

Discuss: DJ Caruso for Thor. Why not? What’s the argument for a big budget Thor working as a Marvel Studios film and vice versa? Is a Daredevil reboot needed? On one hand, Batman Begins, on the other, The Incredible Hulk. Would you prefer a hypothetical HBO series, like Slashfilm’s crew, instead?

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Alicia Keys as Agent 355 in Y: The Last Man?

Producer JC Spink tells UGO that he would like Alicia Keys to play Agent 355 in DJ Caruso‘s big screen adaptation of Y: The Last Man. I can definitely see the resemblance, but I would prefer someone with more acting experience in the role.

Discuss: Who would you cast as Agent 355 in the big screen movie?

DJ Caruso’s Y: The Last Man in Summer 2010?

Y: The Last ManToday during our visit to Dreamworks, we got the chance to talk to Eagle Eye director D.J. Caruso with a group of select online journalists. During the discussion, the big screen adaptation of Brian K Vaughn’s Y: The Last Man came up, and Caruso dropped some potentially exciting news:

“What happened is New Line is now part of Warner Bros, and Warner Bros is now really high on the project. And Carl Ellsworth will probably be handing in a script to Warner Bros/New Line [real soon].”

Caruso says that in a perfect world, the film will hit theaters in Summer 2010.

“I was talking to Shia [LaBeouf] about this yesterday when we were looping him, because he really wants to do it as well, I would like to prep this movie in October, and start shooting it by January. Warner Bros keeps saying ‘We need movies for 2010’ I’m like ‘We’re the movie!'” said Caruso. “[Shia] wants to do it, I want to do it. I think we just need to worry about him being exhausted, so I told him, if I prep it in the fall and we start in January, that’s a nice big break.”

Y: The Last Man is my favorite comic book series of all time. Shia would play Yorick Brown, a young amateur escape artist, and his Capuchin monkey, Ampersand, who instantly become the last two men on Earth after  something mysterious simultaneously kills every mammal possessing a Y chromosome – including embryos, fertilized eggs, and even sperm. Society is plunged into chaos as infrastructures collapse and the surviving women everywhere try to cope with the loss of the men. Yorick goes on a mission to find his girlfriend Beth, who was on vacation in Australia. However, DJ says that they aren’t planning “to follow that through-line [with his girlfriend Beth] out too much in the first film.” Yes, I said the FIRST FILM.

“I definitely see it as a trilogy. I see the first movie ending basically where you pick up six weeks after the incident then progressing down only a five or six week journey from that point on until the end of the first movie,” revealed Caruso. “It’s been hard in a good way just because there is 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.”

“We did something earlier where we sort of separated Yorick from Ampersand for a brief moment of time when Yorrick gets very sick. Also, the 355/Yorrick relationship, we’ve been working on that and not getting that right. Yorrick to me is so solid. It’s really like 355 and her joining with Yorrick that has been… and act three and where do you end the first movie, and where do you go from there.

Caruso claims that co-creator Brian K Vaughn is apparently “really happy” with the direction they have taken.

“I just want to fine tune it before I give it to the studio because I always think that first impression… Because to them Y: The Last Man… Now its Warner Bros. So you’re reeducating a whole different group of people.”

Caruso says that if the project was greenlit, it would probably be produced by Warner Bros and not “New Line” as it would probably be over the certain budget threshold that separated the two production labels.

“I’m still gonna give it to Tobey and Rick who are at New Line but I don’t know the policies at all. All I know is my agent keeps going ‘Oh my god, Warner Bros wants this’, which is great!”

Look at C. Thomas Howell in the yearbook photo above. Today’s teens need to aim higher. Emptying today’s “post-9/11” quota is screenwriter Carl Ellsworth (Disturbia, Y: The Last Man adaptation) who will pen the remake of 1984’s Red Dawn, the beloved Russian invasion teen patriot movie that inspired Toy Soldiers and many a neighborhood ground warz. Ellsworth described his take to the Hollywood Reporter…

“The tone is going to be very intense, very much keeping in mind the post-9/11 world that we’re in,” says Ellsworth, who was 11 when the original was released. “As ‘Red Dawn’ scared the heck out of people in 1984, we feel that the world is kind of already filled with a lot of paranoia and unease, so why not scare the hell out of people again?”

Two things: If we’re switching out the Ruskies (and Cubans) for Osama bin Laden, does the title still make sense? Also, was the point of writer-director John Milius’s original to frighten people or simply to kill people non-stop on screen and give bored video store employees a chance to connect with their plebeian customers? Don’t overthink it, Ellsworth. Don’t turn Red Dawn into [shudder] The Siege!

MGM, which is also ramping up the RoboCop remake, has signed Dan Bradley to direct. Bradley’s filmography goes on for days and days. He’s worked as a second unit director on the last two Spider-Man films, Superman Returns, the last two Bourne films, and is currently working on Quantum of Solace. His list of credits for coordinating stunts—-which are nearly as vital as the director for this remake—-includes every movie you’ve seen in the last 20 years. Go for it.

No word if the new (and not yet cast) batch of fresh faces (cough, Corey Haim), will shout “Wolverines!”

Discuss: Red Dawn or Feh, Yawn?

p.s. War Games 2 drops on DVD July 29th! [Explosion]

Y: The Last Man Trilogy?

Y The Last ManWe’ve been following the development of a movie adaptation of Pia Guerra and Brian K. Vaughan’s comic book series Y: The Last Man for a while now. The Vertigo branded comic book series is the best I’ve ever read. Eagle Eye and Disturbia helmer D.J. Caruso has been attached to the project for a while now, and now tells USA Today that it might become a trilogy of films:

“For me, thematically, the most important thing and the reason I want to do this is … I don’t want to say it’s the end of the innocence, but it’s actually a man-child who has to become a real man now,” Caruso says. “I think it’s a really simple, beautiful theme, but at the same time, the movie’s really pop-culture entertainment.”

While the original plan was to squeeze the entire series into one movie, Caruso says the film will cover the first 14 issues of the comics. He adds that this opens the door for a trilogy.

People have always told me that they envisioned Y: The Last Man to be a extended television miniseries. I’ve always believed that the film had major big screen appeal, especially with the influx of post apocalyptic storylines. But the idea that Caruso is planning a trilogy has me ecstatic. There are just so many cool storylines explored in the 60-issue series. And while the first 14-issues are some of the best, I’ve enjoyed how some of the themes have developed in later issues.

Caruso also confirmed that he has had “preliminary discussions” with Shia LaBeouf to play Yorick Brown. But Shia has not yet officially signed on for the film. Anyone who has read the series can see that Shia would make the perfect Yorick.

Y: The Last Man follows Yorick Brown, a young amateur escape artist, and his Capuchin monkey, Ampersand, the last two men on Earth. Something (speculated to be a plague) simultaneously kills every mammal possessing a Y chromosome – including embryos, fertilized eggs, and even sperm. Society is plunged into chaos as infrastructures collapse and the surviving women everywhere try to cope with the loss of the men. Yorick goes on a mission to find his girlfriend Beth, who was on vacation in Australia.

Y: The Last ManWhen it was announced that D.J. Caruso had signed on to direct a big screen adaptation of Brian K Vaughn’s Y: The Last Man, we speculated that Shia LaBeouf might be playing the lead. Shia had made statements in the past expressing interest in the project. Not only that but DJ Caruso directed him in Disturbia and the upcoming Eagle Eye. So there is a strong connection between the director and star. MTV was able to speak to the director about the possibility, and this is what he said:

“This is funny, but unbeknownst to me: Shia was already chasing this part prior to anything,” Caruso said. “I haven’t talked to him yet about it because he’s off shooting ‘Indiana Jones 4,’ but Shia is the right type and the right personality because you want to have the humor, but you also want to have the seriousness. So we’ll talk about it when we get there.”

It was also revealed that the film version will focus on the first 12 issues of the comic book series, “sort of combining them into a beginning, middle and end. The problem is that even in the first 12, there is so much great stuff, it’s like, what do you leave out? There really isn’t a ticking clock with Yorick, so what we basically did was give him a reason to get from Boston to California in a really short time.”

Y: The Last Man is probably the best non superhero comic book series running today. The story follows Yorick Brown, a young amateur escape artist, and his Capuchin monkey, Ampersand, the last two men on Earth. Something (speculated to be a plague) simultaneously kills every mammal possessing a Y chromosome – including embryos, fertilized eggs, and even sperm. Society is plunged into chaos as infrastructures collapse and the surviving women everywhere try to cope with the loss of the men. Yorick goes on a mission to find his girlfriend Beth, who was on vacation in Australia.

The Y: The Last Man series will end (as planned) with a double sized issue #60 early next year.