Earlier this week, news broke that Guillermo Del Toro is working on adapting the manga series “Monster” into a potential HBO series. Today, FX announced that the busy filmmaker and producer has found a lead for the pilot of another TV series he has in the works. Corey Stoll, who’s coming off a high profile role in Netflix’s “House of Cards” as the well-intentioned but weak-willed political pawn Peter Russo, will headline “The Strain,” a drama being adapted from a trilogy of vampire novels co-written by Del Toro and Chuck Hogan.
Stoll will play Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, the head of the Center for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. He and his team are brought in to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak that turns out to be a strain of vampirism — and not the sexy, glittery, “Twilight” variety, as the novels present a grim, unromanticized vision of vampirism as a humanity-stripping infection akin to the type displayed by those with the Reaper virus in Del Toro’s “Blade II.” Eph will battle on behalf of humanity alongside his team and a group of other New Yorkers.
“To embody a character like Ephraim Goodweather — who transitions through every emotion and situation imaginable, and which anchors the narrative of the series — requires amazing talent and craft. Corey has both in spades as he has demonstrated it over and over again,” Del Toro said in the release.
The hourlong pilot for “The Strain” is being co-written by Del Toro and Hogan, with del Toro slated to direct, and will begin production in September. Carlton Cuse, whose “Bates Motel” was recently renewed by A&E, will serve as showrunner should “The Strain” get picked up to series, and is an executive producer alongside Del Toro, Hogan and Gary Ungar. The pilot is being produced by FX Productions, and looks very likely to be ordered to series.