After months and months of steadily building hype, FX’s TV adaptation of Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s 2009 vampire novel The Strain is finally nearing its grand debut. Yesterday, the network revealed the premiere date for the series, and it’s less than two months away. On Sunday, July 13, The Strain officially arrives to infect audiences everywhere.
The Strain has been granted a 13-episode season 1 by FX, and as you might expect, co-creators del Toro and Hogan will be heavily involved with the show going forward. The duo co-scripted the pilot episode, with del Toro (naturally) sitting in the director’s chair.
Following the pilot, del Toro and Hogan will take on a more advisory role as executive producers. Day to day operations will be managed by constantly busy Lost alum Carlton Cuse, who will serve as showrunner and head writer. Cuse is also the current showrunner for A&E’s hit Psycho prequel Bates Motel.
For those unacquainted with the plot, The Strain follows CDC investigator Dr. Ephraim “Eph” Goodweather (Corey Stoll), head of the agency’s rapid response team known as the Canary project. Eph is called in after a commercial airliner mysteriously arrives at JFK airport. Upon boarding the plane, he finds a horrifying sight: almost all the passengers are dead, and the cause appears to be a virus previously unknown to humanity.
This being a vampire story, it’s not hard to guess what the source of the contagion is, and what happens when it finds its way into New York City. As the plague spreads, it’s up to Eph, his team, and surviving New Yorkers to band together and fight for the future of the human race.
The Strain is but the first in a trilogy of books by del Toro and Hogan, including 2010’s The Fall, and 2011’s The Night Eternal. FX has already announced plans to adapt those stories for the screen as well, with del Toro envisioning The Strain and The Fall each being told in a single season, and The Night Eternal possibly playing out over the course of two or three. FX president John Landgraf has publicly stated that the full series is expected to run no less than 39 episodes, and no more than 65, echoing del Toro’s timetable.
In a fitting twist of fate, del Toro’s original idea was to produce The Strain as a TV series, and he only decided to take it to the print realm after a lack of interest was shown by prospective financial backers. Times sure have changed, as The Strain is now a certified hot property, even making our list of the most anticipated new TV shows of 2014.
With post-apocalyptic TV steadily on the rise, and shows like The Walking Dead, Falling Skies, and HBO’s upcoming The Leftovers dominating the landscape, there is little reason to believe that The Strain will fail to stake its claim to a piece of the after-the-end pie.
The Strain premieres Sunday, July 13 at 10/9c on FX.