del Toro’s “STRAIN” goes to series for FXMovies/TV,News Ken W. Hanley
Right on the heels of AMC’s announcement of taking PREACHER to pilot, FX has officially ordered their television adaptation of Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s novel, THE STRAIN, for a 13-episode first season. To accompany AMERICAN HORROR STORY in FX’s rising slate of genre TV, THE STRAIN follows an outbreak of vampirism that hits New York City, and the many opposing forces that fight against, and for, the epidemic.
With del Toro and Hogan serving as executive producers, as well as BATES MOTEL co-showrunner Carlton Cuse serving as showrunner, THE STRAIN stars HOUSE OF CARDS breakthrough performer Corey Stoll as Ephraim Goodweather, a CDC agent tasked with combating the rapidly spreading vampirism virus. The series also stars Jonathan Hyde, Mia Maestro, Kevin Durand and Sean Astin. The pilot, shot by del Toro in September, starred John Hurt as Professor Abraham Setrakian, but his role will be recast for the series.
THE STRAIN is set to begin production later this month and to extend until late April, with the series to premiere in July. With a full writing staff hired and a reported $500,000 allocated for creature creation alone, THE STRAIN seems to be FX’s biggest project of 2014 so far.
In the past, del Toro had conceived the show with a lifespan of no longer than three to five seasons, later reaffirmed by FX president John Landgraf, who stated that the series will be consisted of “39-65 episodes; no more, no less.” THE STRAIN will also benefit from FX’s relaxed censorship for their primetime lineup, giving the series the creative freedom and brutality second only to premium cable. Will THE STRAIN do to vampires what THE WALKING DEAD has done for zombies, and bring that voyeuristic, “what-would-you-do?” attitude towards the bloodsucking undead? Only time will tell.