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The Strain was published in 2009 followed by The Fall in 2010 and The Night Eternal 2011. All three were co-written by Chuck Hogan. If the pilot is successful, del Toro reckons the books could be turned into a three to five season show.
The US FX network has commissioned the pilot, which del Toro will co-write with Chuck Hogan, while former Lost executive producer Carlton Cuse will act as showrunner.
The book series is set in a world overrun by feral vampires who are instinct-driven, bloodsucking husks of their former human selves, using stingers to feed and inject parasitic worms into victims’ blood that spreads the vampirism.
Ironically, the idea was first conceived as a TV series, but networks didn’t show any interest until the books started coming our: “We started receiving offers for movies and TV rights after the publication of the first book,” del Toro tells Deadline , “but we didn’t want do anything because we didn’t want that train of thought to influence the way we were writing the books. Once the third book was published, we went back to every cable network that expressed interest, and we pitched the series.
“FX made the most sense, based on the level of commitment, passion and understanding of the concept of the book. They got behind the idea of making this a close-ended series; we wanted to follow the books closely and so it couldn’t be open-ended, but rather three to five seasons max.”
But the show is a long way from a series commitment yet. Del Toro and Hogan will start writing the script at the end of this year and the pilot won’t shoot until September 2013 at the earliest, because del Toro has a little thing called Pacific Rim (released next summer) that’ll be taking up his time first.
However, FX is greenlighting the pilot plus additional scripts, so the show could go swiftly into production if the pilot gets the thumbs up.