After a decade of failed development plans, Brian K. Vaughn and Pia ‘s “Y: The Last Man” has a real chance of reaching the screen. FX recently ordered a pilot episode for the post-apocalyptic drama, with Michael Green (“Logan,” “American Gods”) and Aida Mashaka (“Luke Cage”) as co-showrunners and Melina Matsoukas (“Master of None,” “Insecure”) set to direct.
“Y: The Last Man” follows the story of escape artist Yorick Brown after a sudden plague kills everything on the planet with a Y chromosome — except for him and his Capuchin monkey, Ampersand. As society crumbles, Yorick sets out to find what killed off all the men. During its 60-issue run, the series explored race, gender, and sexuality, winning three Eisner awards.
With a set cast yet to be announced for the upcoming adaptation, we put together some suggestions for actors who could live up to the increasing hype around the long-awaited adaptation.
Yorick Brown: Colin Morgan
It turns out that being the last man on earth isn’t as great as you might think. A sensitive, wise-cracking man wracked with survivor’s guilt, Yorick spends the series trying to reunite with his girlfriend as his companions try to convince him to focus on saving humanity. With a tendency to act recklessly and downplay his own importance to the events in the story, he’s equal parts comic relief and existential dread.
It would take an actor of equal strengths to play that kind of duality. Morgan has already proven himself more than capable of such nuance in the drama-fantasy series “Merlin.” His cheeky blend of boyish charm and weary despair is just what Yorick needs to come alive onscreen.
Also, as the comic book series goes on, Yorick also grows quite an incredible beard. Check out Morgan in the BBC supernatural drama “The Living and the Dead” and you’ll understand how just how well he can pull this role off, both aesthetically and dramatically.
Agent 355: Letitia Wright
Yes, that’s really the character’s name: and it’s pronounced “three-fifty-five.” This secret agent remains compassionate despite the stress of her new profession as Yorick’s bodyguard and more-than-occasional babysitter. Frequently frustrated by his inability to stay on task, 355 nevertheless protects the last man on Earth as they try to find a cure. Though averse to killing, she will do whatever it takes to keep those close to her safe.
Wright surprised and amazed audiences in the “Black Mirror” episode, “Black Museum.” No matter how many times you watch the episode, her ability to transition from an inquisitive tourist to a calculating revenge-seeker remains chilling. She’s since become a breakout star as Shuri in “Black Panther.” If that brilliant, cheeky performance isn’t a good indicator of her rightness for this role, nothing is.
Dr. Allison Mann: Tao Okamoto
A cynical and intelligent geneticist, Dr. Mann tries unsuccessfully to clone herself at the start of the series. She believes that this may have started the plague, but is unable to prove it and is thus determined to find the cause and hopefully reverse its effects. She’s also a biracial lesbian, qualities that go beyond her own identity to delve into some of the biggest themes of the series.
Okamoto already has experience in comic book roles, playing Mariko Yashida in “Wolverine” and Mercy Graves in “Batman v. Superman.” She’s no stranger to portraying strong and outspoken women. Coupled with her supporting role as sniper Chiyoh in NBC’s horror-thriller “Hannibal,” her multilingual skills and her ability to carry a strong emotional performance, Okamoto has the talent and the fortitude to bring Mann’s character to life.
Beth Deville: Eliza Taylor
Beth is the love of Yorick’s life; she’d have to be, for him to try and put off restoring humanity to find her. She’s stranded in Australia when the plague hits. As the series progresses, we spend several issues with her and see what other parts of the world have been up to since the men died. Stubborn but sweet, Beth never backs down from a challenge.
Though Taylor currently stars as Clarke Griffin in the CW sci-fi drama “The 100,” this doesn’t take her out of the running. Beth plays a small but significant enough role for most of the series that would completely enable her to work on both projects. Otherwise, the series would miss out on her dogged determination and charisma, qualities necessary to play such a character.
Hero Brown: Tatiana Maslany
Yorick’s impressionable older sister, Hero, starts the series in a bad place. Her lover dies violently in her arms when the plague hits, and she’s convinced that her entire family died as well. Things aren’t good for the elder Brown sibling and the culmination of these tragedies convinces her to join the Amazons, a misandrist cult determined to ensure that the men never come back.
Not to give much away about Hero’s character, but Maslany is good at playing multiple personalities. Best known for her multiple roles on the sci-fi series “Orphan Black,” she is able to switch emotions at a moment’s notice, a skill that would translate well to this troubled woman. There’s a sincere empathy to her acting that could easily make audiences root for Hero.