It was last fall when we learned that Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s The Strain was being developed for a potential TV series at FX. This week comes word that the cable channel is moving forward with the vampire-virus drama, with a goal to get the show on the air next summer.
Del Toro and Hogan’s trilogy begins as a vampiric virus begins to infect the population of New York. THR reported this week that FX has ordered The Strain to series, giving the drama a 13-episode order, with an aim to get the show on the air July 2014.
In the series, which comes from Del Toro, Hogan and Carlton Cuse, House of Cards’ Corey Stoll will play the role of Dr. Goodweather, the head of a CDC rapid-response team investigating biological threats. At the start of the book, this doctor boards a darkened plane that halted suddenly on a runway, all communications going quiet. According to the book’s description, what Goodweather finds on that plane makes his blood run cold. Sounds scary (and fun)!
Also on board to appear in the show are Mia Maestro, John Hurt, Sean Astin and Leslie Hope.
It sounds like The Strain will veer toward thriller-horror in tone, possibly with some great virus-outbreak suspense as these doctors try to figure out what's going on and how to stop it. The dark tone of the story should make The Strain a good fit for FX, a cable channel that hasn’t shied away from dark and gritty drama with their original programming. This one also checks off the vampire box for FX. The closest they’ve probably come to that so far is American Horror Story, though the horror series hasn’t technically featured vampires (yet), but things do tend to get bloody there. And it may only be a matter of time before Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk find a way to work vampires into a season.
And speaking of horror, as THR points out, this will be the second currently (or to-be) airing drama that falls into that category for Carlton Cuse, who also has Bates Motel going strong over at A&E. Cuse is also working on adapting French vampire series The Returned for A&E. While we might argue that TV’s gotten over saturated with vampire dramas in the years since Twilight and True Blood blew up, but if there’s a positive side to that, it’s the increased number of horror series emerging on TV. The genre has proven very adaptable in the serialized format, and hopefully that will apply to The Strain, which sounds like a promising addition to FX’s original programming slate. And with that, I’ll be moving the book up toward the top of my to-read list.