File this one under ‘thoroughly unsurprising news.’ The Strain, a vampire horror-thriller based on the trilogy by fantasy maestro Guillermo del Toro and bestselling novelist Chuck Hogan, has been ordered to series over at FX. The thirteen-episode series is set to bow next summer, with del Toro directing the pilot.
It was almost a given from the get-go that FX would pick The Strain up to series, given del Toro’s near-legendary status as a filmmaker. The acclaimed director (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy) has previously delivered terrific entries in the horror genre including Cronos and Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, but he’s never brought his gothic, gorgeously detailed style to a major television network before.
While Carlton Cuse (Lost, Bates Motel) will oversee production as showrunner, del Toro and Hogan will both act as executive producers for The Strain, so fans of the book series can rest easy, knowing the show will probably follow del Toro and Hogan’s original narrative very closely.
Eric Schrier and Nick Grad, FX Networks and FX Productions presidents of original programming, said in an official press release:
We could not be more excited to be moving forward with Guillermo, Carlton and Chuck on The Strain. This is an epic story with stunning visuals and remarkable acting. The Strain totally reimagines and reinvents the genre.
FX already has one horror success on their hands with Ryan Murphy’s anthology series American Horror Story, and The Strain sounds like another surefire hit. Vampires have been having an extended moment on television in recent years, with hit shows like True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals and Dracula, but del Toro and Hogan’s series looks to put an unsettling global spin on the subgenre. While AMC’s The Walking Dead is currently the uncontested champion of atmospheric small-screen horror, a TV series from del Toro will almost certainly give that show a run for its money.
The official plot synopsis for The Strain reads as follows:
The Strain is a high concept thriller that tells the story of Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll), the head of the Center for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. He and his team are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. As the strain spreads, Eph, his team, and an assembly of everyday New Yorkers, wage war for the fate of humanity itself.
In addition to Stoll (who was the best part of Netflix’s political drama House of Cards earlier this year), The Strain stars Mia Maestro, Sean Astin, Kevin Durand, Natalie Brown, Jonathan Hyde, Richard Sammel, Robert Maillet, Jack Kesy, Ben Hyland, and Miguel Gomez. FX is now searching for a replacement for John Hurt, who was previously set to portray vampire hunter Abraham Setrakian. Production is set to begin in Toronto later this month.
Are you excited to see del Toro’s take on the vampire subgenre come to FX? Let us know in the comments section.
The Strain will premiere sometime in July of 2014.