Well, that didn’t take long. With the pilot only recently completed under the direction of Guillermo del Toro, US cable channel FX has ordered an initial 13-episode series of vampire thriller The Strain, based on the books del Toro wrote with Chuck Hogan.
With a pilot script by the pair and Guillermo calling the shots, the first episode clearly generated enough goodwill among executives that they’re ready to give the series a shot, starting in July next year.
The series, which will kick off filming in Toronto later this month, will be run – since del Toro is too busy making movies and producing 73,000 other projects to take the gig himself – by Lost and Bates Motel executive producer Carlton Cuse.
He’ll be in charge of a story that finds Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll) and his team battling a mysterious viral outbreak that appears to bear all the hallmarks of an ancient strain of vampirism. The condition spreads, and soon Ephraim and a group of ordinary New Yorkers are battling for the fate of humankind. The cast also features the likes of Kevin Durand, Mia Maestro, Sean Astin, Robert Maillet, John Hurt and del Toro regular Doug Jones.
"The Strain books are near and dear to my heart and now, Chuck and I have the blessing of a partnership with Carlton and FX that holds great promise,” del Toro says in a statement picked up by Variety. “Working with FX has yielded an amazing experience with total creative freedom and support.”
As to when we’ll see the show in the UK? No details are available yet, but given its creative pedigree, we’d expect it to be snapped up fairly quickly.