Guillermo del Toro's phonebook-thick To Do list features prominent mention of TV show The Strain, an adaptation of his own novel (co-written with Chuck Hogan) for US channel FX. He already has Corey Stoll cast in the lead, alongside Kevin Durand, Jonathan Hyde, Mia Maestro and Richard Sammel, but now John Hurt has joined the cast as Professor Abraham Setrakian.
Hurt, of course, played a professor dealing with the supernatural for del Toro before in Hellboy, where he was Professor Bruttenholm and Hellboy's adopted dad. He's in similarly academic mode here, as a Holocaust survivor who becomes key when an ancient vampire comes to New York and starts spreading his contagion.
Setrakian, it emerges, encountered this danger before in a concentration camp during World War II, and he is able to guide the authorities - including Corey Stoll's Dr Ephraim Goodweather of the CDC - as they try to discover just what caused a plane full of people to turn up dead or dying when they landed in New York. Clue: it's not the fish they had for dinner.
The pilot will shoot later this summer, with del Toro directing, and then producer Carlton Cuse will showrun a series with del Toro if all goes well. Maybe stock up on silver and UV bulbs in case that happens, eh?