The past decade of Twilight films has conditioned us to think of vampires as brooding, sexy dudes just looking for love. Well, Guillermo del Toro aims to change that.
The team from his FX sci-fi thriller The Strain were out at San Diego Comic-Con to talk up their grisly little vampire series, and del Toro noted it was that twist on the genre that originally attracted him to the book project that would inspire the TV series. The show is framed around a trilogy of Strain novels written by del Toro and Chuck Hogan:
"We did a handshake deal. [Vampires] were very, very, very good-looking. Six-pack, trim, vampires who wanted to tell you how lonely they were. I never got my rocks off with the vampiric genre. It never peeled my banana. This guy drinks the guy and does what you would with a Capri Sun or a can of Coke.”
As fellow producer Carlton Cuse (Lost) added, he came on the project because he like the idea of making a series with vampires that were truly “scary, dangerous, parasitic creatures.” Cuse also noted that the project seemed a better fit for television as opposed to film because of its “very elaborate mythology,” and they already have a five-season plan to tell the entire story if FX keeps the series around that long.
To nail down what del Toro describes as the show’s “cinematic look,” he said they work hard to keep the same “uniformity of the cinematography” from episode to episode, despite the fact that they’re often directed by different people. Oh, plus they pillage leftover sets and locales from axed television shows and failed movies to get the big-budget look without the big-budget prices. As del Toro adds: “We're like the ambulance chasers of production.”
Despite the high level of gore and brutality, Cuse said the network has allowed them to make the “show we wanted to make,” noting that the network has embraced the dark concept and let them run with it: “This is our creative vision, and they've been nothing but supportive of that.”
Other tidbits of note: Del Toro pitched the project to Fox all the way back in 2006, but they wanted to make it a comedy, so he walked; despite his film commitments, del Toro is “obsessively involved” with the series; and del Toro’s personal favorite films are Pacific Rim and Hellboy.