The Strain: Carlton Cuse on the FX Show’s Un-Sparkly, Un-Fanged, Unpretty Vampires
Forget Twilight. Leave True Blood behind. Even ditch classics like Dracula. FX's The Strain, premiering on July 13, is not your ordinary vampire saga.
The vamps of this show — which was co-created by Chuck Hogan and Guillermo del Toro and based on their novel trilogy — are more like parasites. They have bloodsucking projectile stingers instead of fangs, and they certainly don't wear capes, let alone sparkle in the sunlight.
When Wetpaint Entertainment visited the set of The Strain in March, executive producer Carlton Cuse — who has Lost and Bates Motel among his showrunning credits — discussed the difference.
"When I read the books, the thing I really liked was this was a very different take on the vampire legend," he explained. "We’ve been inundated with these sparkling, handsome, pretty vampires. Guillermo and Chuck’s books depict a decidedly different type of vampire. That was very exciting to me. I didn’t think the world needed another handsome, brooding vampire show. The idea of going back to the ancient narrative roots of the vampire legend … this idea of vampires as strigoi, which is the Romanian word for vampire, that they were really scary and deadly and dangerous … that was really appealing to me."
And the addition of a proboscis is just the beginning of the unsightly human-to-vampire transformation. As you'll see, new vampires' human organs are replaced, hair gets patchy, and genetalia drops off.
"I think the context we have for vampires is the pretty guy in the cape with the fangs and the brooding thing," Carlton observed. "That’s not what this is."
The Strain premieres this Sunday, July 13, at 10 p.m ET on FX.