When Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Pacific Rim) originally conceived the idea for The Strain it was as a pitch for a television show. At the time, 2008 or so, he already had made a name for himself with plenty of horror and fantasy genre films. However, del Toro was having trouble finding a buyer to pick the show up and had an agent suggest to him to instead turn it into a novel series. With the help of writer Chuck Hogan (Prince of Thieves) that is exactly what Guillermo did. Now, four years after the first novel hit shelves he is getting to move forward with the project the way he had initially envisioned it.
The Strain follows the story of a CDC worker who first investigates a commercial airliner that lands at JFK airport with no communication to the tower. After discovering the plane is filled with two hundred dead passengers and four living ones he stumbles into a war with an ancient race of vampires when the corpses of the passengers begin disappearing from morgues.
Recently, a short commercial for the upcoming production aired, featuring a found-footage perspective of someone on a date as they soon notice a large number of rats scurrying into a nearby sewer grate. A smash-cut then provides a view into what appears to be a courthouse building as more rats run through a hallway. The whole things is very ominous and comes with no title or actual advertising for the show other than separating the two clips with the words “He is Here.” If it wasn’t for the internet, no one would even have known what this was for.
Even with a confusingly vague ad campaign so far it is still exciting to see this project moving forward. Guillermo del Toro constantly proves why he is so successful in genre, and hopefully The Strain will be another notch in the win column for him.
The pilot episode, written and directed by del Toro is set to premiere on FX in July 2014. After that he is set to step back into the Executive Producer role and leave the show in the hands of Carlton Cuse (LOST.)