The Strain: Showrunner Carlton Cuse Talks Vampires — ‘These Are Not Sparkly, Broody Dudes With Fangs’

“Lost’s” Carlton Cuse is bringing Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s “The Strain” to FX later this year, and on Tuesday the showrunner explained more about the series and its vampires, who have nothing in common with the ones from “The Twilight Saga.”

“Once you see it, you’ll agree, you’ll never look at vampires the same way again,” Cuse told reporters at the Television Critics Association Winter Tour 2014 in Pasadena. “These are not sparkly, brooding dudes with fangs and romantic problems. These vampires are really scary creatures, and this is a really original reimagining of vampire lore and I think it also says something about the kind of precariousness of our modern world.”

For those who haven’t read the trilogy of novels, Cuse explained the premise after showing footage that had some critics jumping in their chairs.

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“The show opens with the arrival of an airplane that lands at John F. Kennedy [airport] and it kind of rolls to a stop and everyone on the airplane appears to be dead and the plane, it turns out, is carrying a mysterious cargo, which is the way in which this strain of vampirism ultimately will spread throughout New York City and ultimately the world,” he said in response to a question from during the session.

“Corey Stoll plays the leader of the Canary team from the Centers [for] Disease Control,” Cuse continued. “He’s the leader of the group of epidemiologists who are trying to stop the spread of this disease and ultimately he picks up a lot of other interesting characters along the way including David Bradley, who plays Abraham Setrakian, who is a guy who you very soon discover has had encounters with these creatures before, and it’s kind of this wonderful complicated mosaic of life in New York as it’s abandoned by this virulent disease. That’s the set up.”

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Cuse became a fan of the novels after he poured through the pages following his run with “Lost.”

“When ‘Lost’ was finished, I read the book, the first of the three books, and I loved it just as a fan and so cut to May of 2012, I got a call saying, ‘Would you be interested in sitting down and talking to Guillermo del Toro about turning ‘The Strain’ into a television series?’ and I said, ‘Yes,’” he recounted.

The showrunner revealed he was fascinated by this new take on vampires.

“I spent a lot time discussing with Guillermo the fact that these vampires feed and sh** at the same time,” Cuse said. “They have this incredibly elaborate biological mechanism that overtakes the regular human biology and all that is detailed pretty thoroughly in the show.”

-- Jolie Lash

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