EXCLUSIVE: House Of Cards‘ Corey Stoll has been tapped as the lead of FX‘s high-profile drama project The Strain, from filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and veteran showrunner Carlton Cuse (Lost, Bates Motel). The Strain, an adaptation of del Toro’s vampire novel trilogy, formally has a pilot order, but FX president John Landgraf has indicated it is being eyed for a series order. The project already has a full writing staff in place churning out scripts, and I hear FX has committed $500,000 to creature creation.
Del Toro will direct the pilot from a script he co-wrote with Chuck Hogan, who also co-authored the books with del Toro. Cuse, who helped develop the adaptation, executive produces alongside del Toro and will serve as showrunner, overseeing the potential series with del Toro. Hogan and del Toro’s longtime manager/producing partner Gary Ungar also serve as exec producers of the project, produced by FX Prods.
The Strain is a high-concept thriller that tells the story of Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Stoll), the head of the Centers for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. He and his team are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. As the strain spreads, Eph, his team and an assembly of everyday New Yorkers, wage war for the fate of humanity itself. “To me, having the right lead for The Strain series was perhaps the most important creative task,” said del Toro. “To be able to secure the perfect actor in Corey Stoll sets the project on the right track. To embody a character like Ephraim Goodweather — who transitions through every emotion and situation imaginable, and which anchors the narrative of the series — requires amazing talent and craft. Corey has both in spades as he has demonstrated it over and over again.”
Stoll has been a hot commodity since his breakout starring role on NBC’s Law & Order: LA. This year, he has drawn attention for his roles in the Netflix series House Of Cards and the Sundance entry COG. He was among the most sought-after actors this broadcast pilot season, fielding multiple offers. Stoll, repped by UTA and Suskin Management, is probably best known on the feature side for his turn as Ernest Hemingway in Midnight In Paris. He just wrapped the indie The Glass Chin and recently was cast in This Is Where I Leave You and The Good Lie.