Oscar nominee John Hurt (The Elephant Man) has joined the cast of FX drama pilot The Strain, which is set to be directed and co-written by Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth). Hurt will play Professor Abraham Setrakian, a Holocaust survivor who runs a pawn shop in Spanish Harlem and may have more answers than he lets on. He previously worked with del Toro on 2004’s Hellboy, where he played Trevor “Boom” Bruttenholm.
Based on a series of novels written by del Toro, The Strain tells the story of the head of the CDC Canary Team in New York City, who is tasked with investigating a viral outbreak that has signs of being an ancient form of vampirism. Already cast in the show are Corey Stoll (House of Cards) as Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, the head of the Canary team; Lauren Lee Smith (Trick ‘r Treat) as Ephraim’s ex-wife Kelly, who pays a stiff price for not listening to her former husband about the severity of the outbreak; Mia Maestro (Frida) as Dr. Nora Martinez, a biochemist who works closely with Ephraim; and Miguel Gomez (Louie) as Augustin “Gus” Elizalde, a gangbanger fresh out of juvenile hall on a manslaughter charge.
In addition to his roles in The Elephant Man and Hellboy, Hurt has appeared on the likes of Doctor Who, The Alan Clark Diaries, and Labyrinth, while lending his voice to The Dragon on BBC’s Merlin.
While not officially picked up to series yet, a 13-episode order for The Strain seems very likely at this point, especially since FX will be restocking its shelves following its split into two channels and the creation of FXX. Another pilot, Howard Gordon’s Tyrant, also looks to be penciled in for a series pickup.
Does The Strain sound like something you would watch? If you’ve read the novels it’s based on, how well do you think it will translate from the page to the screen? Is this something that would fit on with the rest of FX’s programming?