John Hurt Joins FX's <i>The Strain</i>

The Strain has recruited its senior vampire hunter, as FX announced that none other than John Hurt (Harry Potter, Melancholia) will play Professor Abraham Setrakian in the television series based on the trilogy of books penned by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan.

Hurt, who played Prof. Broom in del Toro's Hellboy films, actually helped inspire the character he's playing.

"I am incredibly happy to be reunited with John, who is one of the greatest actors in the world and one of my favorite people ever," del Toro said in a statement. "Chuck and I always visualized him while writing The Strain novels and he is absolutely perfect for the part!"

Setrakian is a Holocaust survivor who encountered vampirism in the concentration camps. A one-time college professor, he finds himself running a pawn shop in Spanish Harlem while secretly preparing for the blood suckers' return when the story opens. When they do make their way to New York City, Setrakian hooks up with Centers for Disease Control doctor Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll of House of Cards), a scientist who slowly comes to understand the true danger facing the city. The pilot is also set to star Mia Maestro, Kevin Durand, Jonathan Hyde and Richard Sammel.

The Strain pilot was written by del Toro and Hogan, with Carlton Cuse (Lost, Bates Motel) on board to executive produce and del Toro directing the initial offering. If the series does get picked up, the first season will run for 13 episodes.

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