New Line Cinema's rights to the Vertigo series Y: The Last Man have officially lapsed, reverting back to creators Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra, according to director Dan Trachtenberg.

The studio announced early last year that Trachtenberg -- who doesn't have any features to his credit, only a handful of short films, including a very well-received Portal film -- would helm the project. He and the studio only had a limited window of time to get a movie finished, and that time has come and gone.

a statement to Slashfilm

Truly- I was excited to make an ADVENTURE movie, with swashbuckle, that was fun and funny but had something to say. Which is something that is distinctly BKV. Having real, true, honest ,people stuff amidst the big, fun, action stuff. We were in many ways quite faithful to the comic, though some characters were combined and some events re-arranged and some brief moments of action we dug into to create bigger action/adventure sequences.

The script was essentially the first two trades. Taking inspiration from the original Star Wars (Episode 4)- we wanted to tell a complete story…but not the whole story.  Hoping that, in success, we could get tell the rest of our serialized adventure.

New Line has been sitting on the movie rights to the series about the last living man on Earth after a massive plague wipes out all the rest since around 2007, announcing handful of directors and screenwriters in the intervening years. No adaptation ever really stuck.

Y: The Last Man ran for 60 issues, starting in 2002 and ending in 2008. A movie adaptation covering the first two trades would have only covered 10 of those issues.

This doesn't mean a movie or TV adaptation of the series is impossible, but it's certainly a step toward Y remaining a only a comic, particularly since the rights came back to Vaughan and Guerra rather than Vertigo/DC. Trachtenberg said, "I’m not sure Brian will ever want to do anything more with it and I’m not sure that he needs to... I think comics is where his heart lies."