While Robert Rodriguez and crew are holding down the sexually suggestive vampire-themed content over on the El Rey Network, king of the monsters and the star of your Spanish-subtitled nightmares, Guillermo del Toro, has been cooking up his own version of the bloodsucking beasts for FX. If there’s anyone who can bring the threat of a deadly strain of humanity-ending vampirism to life on television in grotesque, hyperreal detail, it would be the man who thinks that a guy with eyeballs in the palms of his hands is just your average everyday challenge for a little girl to face.
The teaser for the new series, titled The Strain, is ever so brief, but it gives us just enough to work with — vampires aren’t just made after midnight through a flexing of fangs and a couple of puncture wounds to the neck anymore. It’s a transmitted disease that can infect anyone, anywhere, and it’s making a huge batch of former humans do a little more than just sparkle.
Based on a book of the same name written by del Toro and Chuck Hogan and executive produced by Lost‘s Carlton Cuse, The Strain focuses on Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, the head of the Center for Disease Control (the fantastic Corey Stoll), as he realizes that he’s dealing with something more serious than a flu outbreak; he’ll have to put together a team to regroup and figure out a plan of attack to wipe out the “disease” before it gets them first. That’s the thing — these victims aren’t all dead; they’re just getting started on a new (terrible) chapter of life.
Check out the trailer below:
Del Toro seems to have taken care of the “turning even an airplane’s interior into a nightmarish hellscape” portion of his duties (Is it the lighting? Is that the secret?), and the rest of the series’ settings and creatures seem to be no exception to the terror rule. I’m sure the CDC has to deal with some gruesome realities every day (SARS is probably really gross under a microscope), but it’s another thing to take a somewhat bland government agency and put it in the center of monster mayhem. And if there’s anyone who could make being a CDC doctor look like a high adventure, high rewards career full of mystery and intrigue, it would be Stoll (formerly of House of Cards) who has long had a knack for mixing the terrible and the sympathetic together. Plus, the man can deliver a monologue, if Midnight in Paris taught us anything.
Del Toro’s vampire experiment hits FX on Sunday, July 13th. With this little teaser, it’s hard to say what the scope of the disease will look like or just how it will affect all of humanity. But if that hooded beast at the end of the trailer is any indication, it’s time we all started guarding our necks.