EXCLUSIVE: Oscar-nominated actor John Hurt has been tapped as the co-lead opposite Corey Stoll and Mia Maestro in FX‘s high-profile drama pilot The Strain, from Guillermo del Toro and Carlton Cuse, which is being eyed for a 13-episode pickup. The high-concept thriller, directed by del Toro from a script he co-wrote with Chuck Hogan based on their vampire novel trilogy, 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. Hurt, who first worked with del Toro in his 2004 feature Hellboy, will portray Professor Abraham Setrakian, a holocaust survivor who immigrated to the U.S. after World War II and now runs a pawn shop in Spanish Harlem. As the outbreak spreads, he may be the only one with answers — if anyone will listen. “I am incredibly happy to be reunited with John, who is one of the greatest actors in the world and one of my favorite people ever,” said del Toro. “Chuck and I always visualized him while writing The Strain novels and he is absolutely perfect for the part!” Kevin Durand, Richard Sammel, Lauren Lee Smith, Jonathan Hyde and Miguel Gomez co-star in the project, from FX Prods. Hurt received Oscar nominations for The Elephant Man and Midnight Express and portrayed Ollivander in the Harry Potter films. On television, he starred in BBC’s The Alan Clark Diaries; The Confession; and played Warren Christopher in HBO’s Recount.