[Editor’s note: The following article contains spoilers for “The Last Man on Earth.”]
In May, the same week Fox aired the fourth season finale of “The Last Man on Earth,” the network cancelled the post-apocalyptic comedy. The series began with Phil Tandy Miller (Will Forte) convinced he was the lone survivor of a lethal virus, and ended with a group in gas masks confronting Phil and his small band of fellow hangers-on, just as they were about to establish a settlement in Mexico. Forte — also the show’s creator, co-writer, and executive producer — spoke to Vulture’s Good One podcast about what would have come next.
Had “The Last Man on Earth” received a fifth season, the audience would have learned that the masked individuals had hidden in a bunker while the virus wiped out most of humanity. Among their ranks was “probably a couple famous people” and “some kind of medical expert or scientist who knew, ‘At this certain point, the virus will be dormant. You’ll be safe to get back out,'” Forte said. When they discover Phil and his immune cohorts — played by Kristen Schaal, Mary Steenburgen, and Mel Rodriguez — “we represent a real threat to them, because they’d thought everything was dead, so they quarantine us.”
While the captors “look scary,” Forte said “they end up being nice people… Eventually we’d all get comfortable with each other, and they would kind of let one person out. They wouldn’t be scared anymore.” However, the newly-sprung crew remains carriers of the virus. “So we would infect them and they’d die like wildfire. And then we’re back to just us. And maybe one famous person we could talk into staying around.” Cue credits.
During its run, “The Last Man on Earth” received five Emmy nominations, including a director nod for “The LEGO Movie” filmmakers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.
Forte will next appear in two comedies now in post-production: “Extra Ordinary” and “Booksmart,” the first feature film helmed by Olivia Wilde.