'The Strain' EP Carlton Cuse promises unsexy but very dangerous vampires

carlton-cuse-the-strain-tca-gi.jpgHey look, another show about vampires! We know -- you probably have fang fatigue. But FX specializes in turning familiar TV genres on their heads, and it hopes to do so again with "The Strain."

The series is scheduled to premiere in July, and executive producer Carlton Cuse ("Lost," "Bates Motel") promises that the undead in this show are very much unlike those that have recently dominated pop culture.

"These are not sparkly, brooding dudes with fangs and romantic problems," Cuse said Tuesday (Jan. 14) at the TCA winter press tour. "These vampires, or to use the Romanian word, strigoi, are really scary creatures, and this is a really original re-imagining of vampire lore."

"The Strain" is based on a series of three novels by filmmaker Guillermo del Toro ("Pacific Rim") and Chuck Hogan. It stars Corey Stoll ("House of Cards") as a CDC virologist investigating an outbreak that bears the signs of vampirism -- and things do not go well.

FX showed a teaser of the show to critics Tuesday (alas, it's not available for public consumption yet), and the brief glimpses it offered of the vampires confirm they are indeed scary (and rather gross-looking). Cuse says the thought del Toro and Hogan put into creating their version of vampires -- the books go into great detail about their biology -- was part of what drew him to the show.

"One of the reasons I really wanted to collaborate with Guillermo on this project was I think that he is a real visionary when it comes to creating monsters and fantasy worlds," Cuse says. "These creatures, as imagined by Guillermo, I believe, are really compelling, interesting and different than what you've seen before. I don't really want to say too much about them because I don't want to spoil the reveal of them, but not unlike 'Pan's Labyrinth,' I feel like Guillermo has brought real vision to the way these creatures have been realized, and I think audiences will find [that] really compelling."  

Hogan and del Toro wrote the series pilot, which del Toro directed. Cuse then came on board as executive producer and showrunner.
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