D.J. Caruso Talks Y: THE LAST MAN

     July 23, 2008

Written by Matt Goldberg

Yesterday, Frosty spoke with “Eagle Eye” director D.J. Caruso about his upcoming adaptation on Brian K. Vaughn and Pia Guerra’s brilliant comic series, “Y: The Last Man”. Frosty’s not as familiar with the property as I am so I thought I’d write the intro since I own all sixty issues of the series and will always regard it as the comic book that got me interested in comics again. Mr. Caruso has his work cut out for him but to his credit, he’s hard at work. Read the interview below to see how Caruso plans to tweak the story, tell it over three films, and convince Warner Bros. that this is a film they want for their 2010 slate.

But if Mr. Caruso needs an ad campaign to help them sell it, I can already see a great series of teaser posters that show chaos and devastation in the aftermath of a gender-cide with a little tiny statistic explaining the shown destruction. It would be reminiscent of the chilling and thought-provoking stats provided at the end of the “Y:

The Last Man” #1 and certainly pique the curiosity of audiences unfamiliar with the title. After all, not all comic book movies can be about Batman.

And a quick note from Frosty. Just to be clear…it wasn’t just me speaking to D.J. …I’d say it was about 5 of us talking to him.

Question: Can you elaborate on what you mean when you say that you’ve cracked Y?

DJ: What I mean by that is that there’s so much to choose from. Just trying to narrow down the story, and in all the drafts written over the years there’s a lot of great stuff in there, but what I think Y was missing in screenplay form was a ticking clock. So we did something where we separated Yorick from [pet monkey] Ampersand for a brief period of time where Yorick gets very sick, which kind of opened up the movie in the middle of the act. And also the Agent 355 / Yorick relationship to me has always been sort of a Deniro / Grodin thing. And so I was working on that and not quite getting it right, believe it or not. Because Yorick to me is so solid, it’s really like 355 and her journey with Yorick that’s been…and also Act 3, where do you end the first movie and how can you go from there? But I think we licked it.

Q: So is this a trilogy?

DJ: I see it as a trilogy. I definitely see it as a trilogy. I see the first movie ending anywhere basically when you pick up after the incident you’re picking up about six weeks later, meeting Yorkick six weeks later after the incident and progressing down, I think it’s about…only a five or six week journey from that point to the end of the first movie. It’s been hard, in a good way, just because there’s 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.

Q: When do you think this might happen?

DJ: In a perfect world, and I was talking to Shia about this yesterday because he really wants to do it as well, I would like to prep this movie in October and shoot by January.

Q: So you’re thinking summer 2010?

DJ: 2010. That’s what I’ve been hearing. Warner Brothers is saying ‘we need movies for 2010!’ And I say ‘we’re the movie!’ I’ve got a movie star, I’ve got a great comic book, whatever.

Q: And Shia has reached the point where with him and you together…

DJ: He has, yeah. He definitely has. But you want to get it right. You don’t want to make the movie just for that reason.

Q: So he would do it?

DJ: He wants to do it, I want to do it. The thing we have to worry about is him being exhausted. So I said if I prep in the fall and we start in January, that’s a nice big break.

Q: Would you film in Australia?

DJ: Eh….maybe. I don’t know. That’s where she goes, but we’re not going to follow that throughline too much in the first film, god willing. We’ve been working on it, showing Vaughn all the things, he’s really happy with this and I just want to fine-tune it before giving it to the studio because I always think that first impression…you know. Because to them, it’s Warner Brothers now, you’re re-educating a new crew.

Q: In going to Warner Brothers, could you end up with a bigger budget?

DJ: Honestly I’m still trying to figure out the landscape because I know New Line is going to exist the way Castle Rock existed years ago. So they still have autonomy but now I think if it gets over a certain budget level that’s when Warners and New Line pair up. I think that we’ll probably fit in that budget level. I’m still going to give it to Toby Emmerich, then I don’t know if he has to go to Alan Horn, all I know is my agents keep saying ‘Warner Brothers wants this!’

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