Y: The Last Man Might Get Resurrected On HBO Max

Alas, poor Yorick, we barely knew you. The story of the last Y chromosome-carrying person on Earth and his amazing pet monkey was canceled before the end of its first season on FX on Hulu. The series, based on the bestselling Brian K. Vaughan comic book series, went through some behind-the-scenes turmoil before it ever aired, perhaps dooming it to its appropriately apocalyptic fate. 

But all hope may not be lost. The Hollywood Reporter dug into the reasons why the streaming series didn't survive, and suggested that it could possibly find a new home on HBO Max. 

Why Say Goodbye to Y?

So what happened? Why did FX on Hulu cancel the series after airing only seven of its planned 10 episodes? 

THR reports that executives at FX had to make a decision on the future of the series by October 15, 2021, which is when the options on the cast for the series expired. 

Even though FX landed rights to the IP in 2015 and picked up the drama to pilot in 2018, there were some serious production hiccups that delayed the series getting made. Initially, Barry Keoghan and Diane Lane were cast in leading roles, with Michael Green and Aida Croal set to be showrunners. They departed the project shortly after, citing creative differences. The current showrunner, Eliza Clark, signed on in June 2019. In February 2020, Keoghan departed the project and the series had to find a new "last man." They found him in Ben Schnetzer, but then there was a global pandemic. COVID-19 ground production to a halt and the series was moved from a debut on FX to their streaming arm at Hulu.

Filming eventually began in October 2020, years after Lane and co-stars Amber Tamblyn and Marine Ireland had signed on. FX had to extend options on these original stars, as well as pay to extend the options on the new stars who had signed on but were delayed by the pandemic. In order to continue onto a season 2, FX would have to shell out $3 million to further extend all of the cast options. The pre-production stumbles and pandemic seriously hindered the series financially, causing FX to nix it before the first season was even done. 

The Last Word on The Last Man?

So what's next? FX Productions owns the series outright, but according to THR's sources, they are supportive of producers' plans to shop the show around to other networks. HBO Max would be the likely home for a potential second season, given that its parent company, WarnerMedia, also owns DC Comics, who published the "Y: The Last Man" comic series under their Vertigo imprint. 

If "Y" makes the move to HBO Max, then FX and HBO would have to figure out the exact details, including whether or not WarnerMedia would buy the library rights to the first season. 

For her part, Clark remains optimistic: 

"I have never in my life been more committed to a story, and there is so much more left to tell. "Y: The Last Man" is about gender, about how oppressive systems inform identity. We had a gender diverse team of brilliant artists, led by women at almost every corner of our production. Producers, writers, directors, cinematographers, production design, costume design, stunt coordination, and more. It is the most collaborative, creatively fulfilling, and beautiful thing I have ever been a part of. We don't want it to end."