Guillermo del Toro is unleashing “The Strain” on FX.
The cable network has landed a TV series adaptation of the vampire book trilogy written by del Toro and Chuck Hogan, ordering a pilot episode to be executive-produced, co-written and directed by the “Pacific Rim” filmmaker (who may also return to direct future episodes). “Lost” alum Carlton Cuse, who’s currently working on the “Psycho” prequel series “Bates Motel” over at A&E, is on board as showrunner.
According to Deadline, del Toro is envisioning “The Strain” as a limited-run TV series, with a definite time frame somewhere between three and five seasons. Interestingly, the project was originally conceived as a TV series to air on Fox, but when the network passed on the opportunity, del Toro made the decision to turn it into a series of novels, the first of which was released in 2009.
Of course, now that all three books (“The Strain,” “The Fall” and “The Night Eternal”) have been published to bestselling results, del Toro and Hogan find themselves in the admirable position of fielding offers from several different networks. FX ultimately prevailed in the competitive situation because, according to del Toro: “[They] made the most sense, based on the level of commitment, passion and understanding of the concept of the book. They got behind the idea of making this a close-ended series; we wanted to follow the books closely and so it couldn”t be open-ended, but rather three to five seasons max.”
Del Toro says he’ll begin working on the pilot script with Hogan (who is also the author “Prince of Thieves,” the novel upon which Ben Affleck’s “The Town” is based) at the end of the year, followed by a planned production start in September. As the pilot order includes a greenlight for additional scripts, production on Season 1 is expected to begin shortly thereafter.
Following is the official synopsis for Book 1:
A Boeing 777 arrives at JFK and is on its way across the tarmac, when it suddenly stops dead. All window shades are pulled down. All lights are out. All communication channels have gone quiet. Crews on the ground are lost for answers, but an alert goes out to the CDC. Dr. Ephraim “Eph” Goodweather, head of their Canary project, a rapid-response team that investigates biological threats, gets the call and boards the plane. What he finds makes his blood run cold.
In a pawnshop in Spanish Harlem, a former professor and survivor of the Holocaust named Abraham Setrakian knows something is happening. And he knows the time has come, that a war is brewing.
So begins a battle of mammoth proportions as the vampiric virus that has infected New York begins to spill out into the streets. Eph, who is joined by Setrakian and a motley crew of fighters, must now find a way to stop the contagion and save his city – a city that includes his wife and son – before it is too late.
On the feature side, Del Toro’s “Pacific Rim” is slated for release on July 12, 2013.
Have you read “The Strain” books? Excited for the TV series? Sound off below.