FX’s new vampire series “The Strain” marks filmmaker Guillermo del Toro’s first time behind the camera on an American TV series. Based on a trilogy of novels he wrote with Chuck Hogan, del Toro has been involved in the process of translating the story to TV from the very beginning, including directing the pilot.
Will he return to direct more, though? During a conference call with the media, del Toro says, “I want to direct the opening episode if we get a next season.” Granted, he’s very busy with numerous projects, but for him the TV experience was something special, though pretty tiring.
“Each day on a TV series is like a week on a feature,” del Toro quips. “It is always like doing cardio.” It was all worth it, though. The trio of del Toro, Hogan and executive producer Carlton Cuse were able to create something they all hold near and dear to their hearts. “This is our baby,” he adds. “It’s like ‘Three Men and a Baby’ for vampires.”
Cuse feels the same way. In fact, he admits that one of the two chief reasons he wanted to do the project was to work with del Toro. The other reason is just as important, though. “I also thought embedded in the book was this fantastic opportunity to upend the vampire genre,” he says. “We’ve had our fill of vampires we feel sorry for because of their romantic lives.”
As for how long they hope the series will run, both Cuse and del Toro agree that it shouldn’t go on too long. “It won’t be more than five seasons,” Cuse says. “We’re definitely writing to an end point and following a path that’s established in the novels.” After all, respecting the source material is what’s most important. Luckily, it wasn’t hard to do as del Toro says working with FX gave him “complete creative freedom.”
“The Strain” premieres Sunday, July 13, at 10 p.m. ET/Pt on FX.