Carlton Cuse wants to assure fans of Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s vampire novels that FX’s The Strain will attempt to match the source material’s creep factor. Cuse, who knows creepy from his work on Lost and Bates Motel, showed off a sizzle real during a recent Television Critics Association presentation.
The showrunner addressed the look of the vampires, which they tried to adapt as accurately as possible. “There have been some modifications, but I’m really pleased with how they’ve come out,” he explained. “These creatures are compelling and different from what you’ve seen before. Not unlike Pan’s Labyrinth, Guillermo has brought real vision to the way these creatures were realized.”
Considering that the vampires in the books turn into formidable monsters that lose their hair, appendages and genitals, these are very different creatures than the ones so popular with teenagers nowadays. “These are not sparkly brooding dudes with fangs and romantic problems,” Cuse said. “This is a really original re-imagining of vampire lore. There is sex in the show, but the vampires themselves are not having sex. They are not romantic creatures.”
The writer said that he, del Torro and Hogan spent 18 months hashing out the story, and they’re looking to tell The Strain in three to five 13-episode seasons, which will allow them to more closely examine the characters. “We’ve gotten deeper into our characters and we’ve invented new situations,” Cuse said. “The books are well represented, but the series is a deeper and richer experience.”
The Strain, starring Corey Stoll, John Hurt, Mia Maestro, Kevin Durand and Sean Astin, debuts in July on FX.