'Y: The Last Man' TV Series Filming Begins, Sans Real Monkey

As Y: The Last Man writer Brian K. Vaughn said on his recent Instagram Story, a real plague can't stop the fake plague of FX's TV series adaptation of Vaughn and Pia Guerra's acclaimed Vertigo comic book series. Neither can years of production delays nor a push from PETA to not use real animals — Y: The Last Man is officially forging ahead with production amid the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, sans real monkey.

The Y: The Last Man filming has officially begun, with the production taking COVID-19 precautions and using a computer-generated monkey to replace the real monkey used in the pilot episode, per PETA demands. PETA announced their victory Monday, confirming that the producers of Y: The Last Man, which used a real monkey in the pilot episode, will exclusively use computer-generated imagery to portray the monkey character when production resumes.

And per writer, executive producer and new showrunner Eliza Clark (Animal Kingdom), production has begun today.

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Day 1 of my dreams coming true.

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"Day 1 of my dreams coming true," Clark wrote in an Instagram caption of a photo of a clapperboard for Y: The Last Man. Clark also posted a photo of the chair for Yorick Brown, who will be played by Ben Schnetzer (Warcraft), who stepped in after original star Barry Keoghan (Dunkirkdeparted the lead role.

Keoghan had starred in the pilot shot back in 2018 alongside Diane Lane, Imogen Poots, Lashana Lynch, Amber Tamblyn, and more — alongside a real monkey, which earned the ire of PETA. Since reports of the monkey's role in the pilot, PETA had been demanding that FX replace the monkey with a CGI monkey, which the production team conceded to, according to a statement from PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange:

For over two years, PETA has been urging the Y: The Last Man team not to prop up a cruel industry that tears baby monkeys away from their mothers and forces them to endure a miserable life stuck inside cages and in front of cameras. The decision to switch to computer-generated imagery is the only ethical option for depicting animals on screen and is welcome news for primates who suffer in the entertainment industry.

Y: The Last Man was published from 2002 through 2008 by Vertigo, and amassed a huge following, and Hollywood has been attempting to adapt the comic in some form for years. First, there was an attempt to turn Y: The Last Man into a film series with director D.J. Caruso and his Disturbia and Eagle Eye star Shia LaBeouf. Then FX jumped on the property in 2015, with with Michael Green and Aida Mashaka Croal set as co-showrunners, but was met with all kinds of behind-the-scenes troubles over the years, with Green and Croal exiting last year, followed soon by Keoghan.

Clark (Extant, Animal Kingdom) is now serving as showrunner, and the previously announced cast of Diane Lane, Amber Tamblyn and Imogen Poots is still on board, as is Timothy Hutton.

With Y: The Last Man finally filming, it's still unclear when the series will hit FX with COVID-19 precautions. We can probably expect the series to air sometime in late 2021 or early 2022.