It’s getting cold, everybody, and flu season will soon be upon us, so do your best not to get sick. But there’s a virus coming next summer, and it doesn’t matter what medicine you try, because FX is damned sure going to give it to you. The network has officially ordered a full 13-episode season of The Strain, based on the trilogy of novels from the imagination of genre king Guillermo del Toro and author Chuck Hogan. Considering these guys already have plans to make this a multi-season show, it’s a good thing they’ve got at least one to work with.
With a premiere date set for July 2014, The Strain got this bump after FX already ordered a pilot. Del Toro, Hogan, and Lost‘s Carlton Cuse, who will step up as the showrunner, are developing the series. Cuse already has Bates Motel running strong on A&E, where he’ll also be adapting the French horror drama The Returned. Let’s hope he can bring the same amount of verve to this spooky series.
Many will notice this is one of the rare times we at Giant Freakin’ Robot bother to pay attention to a vampire series. This due to the heavy focus put into pushing vampirism as a parasitic disease, we like diseases. The story takes place as this deadly outbreak hits the streets of New York, and follows two main characters, Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll), the head of the CDC’s rapid response team, and Professor Abraham Setrakian (John Hurt), a concentration camp survivor who has been hunting vampires for decades. They’re joined by a bunch of other characters on all sides of the spectrum, including the master vamp (Robert Maillet) that usurps the body of an Armenian giant in order to try and take over the world. These are tailor-made for a TV series or movie, and I’m pretty sure every thought in del Toro’s head could potentially be put on film.
Saying how happy they are to be working with the three creators, FX’s presidents of original programming, Eric Schrier and Nick Grad, call The Strain “an epic story with stunning visuals and remarkable acting. The Strain totally reimagines and reinvents the genre.” Those are pretty strong words, but considering how much time del Toro has spent making this series a reality, I certainly hope this is true.
Beyond Hurt and Stoll, the cast includes a laundry list of remarkable actors, like Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings), Kevin Durand (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones), Doug Jones (Hellboy), Francis Capra (Veronica Mars), Natalie Brown (Being Human), and Mia Maestro (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn).
Will you guys be sinking your fangs all up in this? I know I will…for at least one episode. FX is pretty good about giving audiences prime dramas though, so I’ve got the faith. For a quick intro to the story, check out the Dark Horse motion comic of the first issue of The Strain.