Two days ago news broke that Guillermo del Toro would be directing and executive producing Hitchcockian crime drama "Nutshell Studies" for HBO; now, the Mexican filmmaker is on the verge of closing a deal for another series at FX.
According to Variety, the network is finalizing a deal to develop a TV series based on del Toro's trilogy of vampire novels, "The Strain," "The Fall" and "The Night Eternal," all co-written by Chuck Hogan. "Lost" executive producer and screenwriter Carlton Cuse will serve as showrunner. FX is closing a deal for a pilot order with intentions to fast-track the project to series -- Del Toro will direct the pilot, which he'll co-write with Hogan, and they'll aim to shoot in Toronto next fall.
Variety reports that FX has never ordered a pilot from a pitch before, but obviously the talent involved here is considerable. Del Toro has plans for "The Strain" to be an event series with a set end date.
"The Strain" novels, which were published in 2009, 2010 and 2011, read like del Doro and Hogan wrote them with film or TV in mind. (They've also spawned a series of Dark Horse comics.) They're based around a particular type of vampire biology that's very much unlike the romantic vision of "Twilight" -- vampires are parasitic, and vampirism is spread via a capillary worm that introduces an incurable virus to the host. Vampires have a long proboscis stinger they use for feeding, and their facial features, hair, fingernails and genitals atrophy.
Del Toro's explored vampires in film before, offering a reinvention of the idea in his debut "Cronos" and presenting a "Strain"-like vampire-as-virus concept to "Blade II."