Following word that FX is moving forward with the small screen adaptation of Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s The Strain series comes news that Game of Thrones’ David Bradley has joined the cast, playing the key role of Professor Abraham Setrakian in the vampire-virus outbreak series. This role was previously played by John Hurt, who’s being recast by the producers.
Based on del Toro and Hogan’s best-selling vampire trilogy, FX’s The Strain is set to be executive produced by Carlton Cuse, who will also serve as the showrunner for the series.
The Strain is a high concept thriller that tells the story of “Dr. Ephraim Goodweather” (Corey Stoll), the head of the Center for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. He and his team are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. As the strain spreads, Eph, his team, and an assembly of everyday New Yorkers, wage war for the fate of humanity itself.
Along with word that FX has given the drama a 13-episode order, we learned that FX was looking to get this series on the air next July (2014).
Bradley has signed on to play Professor Setrakian, a holocaust survivor who immigrated to the U.S. after World War II and now runs a pawn shop in Spanish Harlem. The story is set in New York, where a vampire virus is sweeping the population. As the outbreak spreads, Dr. Setrakian could be the only one with answers, assuming anyone’s interested in hearing them. As we mentioned, John Hurt originally held this role, back when the project was in the pilot stage, but it looks like the producers are going in another direction, for whatever the reason.
David Bradley’s a pretty great cast addition for the series, which already stars Corey Stoll (House of Cards), Mia Maestro, Sean Astin, Kevin Durand, Natalie Brown, Jonathan Hyde, Rchard Sammel, Robert Maillet, Jack Kesy, Ben Hyland and Miguel Gomez. Game of Thrones fans will likely recognize Bradley for his recurring role as Walder Frey in the series. And Harry Potter fanatics will undoubtedly recognize him for the cranky, cat-loving squib caretaker Filch in the films. Bradley’s also no stranger to the small screen across the pond, with roles in Broadchurch, Prisoners Wives and Mount Pleasant among his recent credits. And by “recent,” I mean all this year. Bradley’s a busy man, which actually makes me wonder how much we should expect to see of him in The Strain. I haven’t actually read the books yet, so I couldn’t comment on the fate of his character, but given the nature of the story, what with there being vampires all over the place, and the fact that Professor Setrakian might actually have some useful information, it wouldn’t be all that surprising if Professor Setrakian’s life were put into danger. But that’s pure speculation, and as I said, given the plot, it sounds like every character’s life will be in danger. Either way, FX says it's a key role, and Bradley's casting is certainly one more reason to look forward to this series when it airs next summer.