Liv Tyler to Co-Star in Damon Lindelof’s HBO Pilot THE LEFTOVERS; John Hurt Joins Guillermo del Toro’s FX Series THE STRAIN

     June 18, 2013

A couple of highly promising casting decisions have been made regarding two exciting upcoming pilots.  First up, Liv Tyler has signed on to co-star in Damon Lindelof’s HBO potential series The Leftovers.  Based on the book of the same name by Tom Perotta, the story takes place after the Rapture, centering on the people in a small town that didn’t make the cut.  Justin Theroux is already set as the show’s lead, but Deadline reports that Tyler will be co-starring as Meg, a young woman on the verge of getting married who becomes a target for recruitment by members of an enigmatic cult.  Peter Berg is directing the pilot and Christopher Eccleston, Ann Dowd, Amanda Warren, and Carrie Coon are also set to star.

Hit the jump for news concerning a Hellboy alum joining Guillermo del Toro’s potential new series The Strain.

john-hurt-the-strainAdditionally, FX has announced that veteran actor John Hurt is joining the ensemble of the potential FX show The Strain as a series regular.  Co-written and executive produced by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, the series is based on del Toro and Hogan’s book trilogy of the same name and centers on a team of scientists who wage war against an ancient strain of virus that confers vampirism, along with those it infects.  Hurt will be playing the crucial role of Professor Abraham Setrakian, “a holocaust survivor who immigrated to the United States 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.”

Del Toro will direct the pilot for The Strain and will executive produce the series, which reunites him with his Hellboy actor Hurt.  The filmmaker noted that he and Hogan always envisioned Hurt in the role of Setrakian when writing the book series, so the casting fulfills an idea that was conjured up years ago.  Should FX pick the pilot up to series, Lost veteran Carlton Cuse will act as showrunner.  Hurt joins an impressive cast lead by Cory Stoll that includes Kevin Durand, Mia Maestro, Richard Sammel, Lauren Lee Smith, Jonathan Hyde, and Miguel Gomez.  Production on the pilot begins in September in Toronto.

the-strain-guillermo-del-toro-book-coverRead the full press release for The Strain below.

Los Angeles, 17, 2013 – FX has cast two-time Academy Award®-nominated actor John Hurt in The Strain, the pilot based on the best-selling vampire novel trilogy from Academy Award®-Winning Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and Author Chuck Hogan.  Hurt joins the previously announced Corey Stoll, Kevin Durand, Mia Maestro, Richard Sammel, Lauren Lee Smith, Jonathan Hyde and Miguel Gomez.

Hurt will portray Professor “Abraham Setrakian,” a holocaust survivor who immigrated to the United States 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!”

John Hurt is a two-time Academy Award-nominee for his indelible performances in The Elephant Man and Midnight Express.  In addition to his Oscar nominations, Hurt received numerous BAFTA awards and two Golden Globe® nominations.  His numerous other feature film credits include Love and Death on Long IslandHellboyV for Vendetta and Alien. He also portrayed Ollivander in the Harry Potter films.  On television, he starred in BBC’s The Alan Clark Diaries, The Confession opposite Kiefer Sutherland, and played Warren Christopher in HBO’s Recount.

The Strain is a high concept thriller that tells the story of Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll), the head of the Center 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.  When Eph realizes that this isn’t some new bioterror weapon, but something much older, something outside the reach of science, he teams with Abraham to fight back.  As a plague of hungry and intelligent predators overwhelms New York, Eph, Abraham and a motley crew of everyday New Yorkers form a ragtag resistance – fighting monsters in the streets and in their homes, waging a war for the fate of humanity itself.

Del Toro and Hogan will co-write the pilot script for The Strain, with del Toro attached to direct.  Award-Winning Writer and Producer Carlton Cuse (LostBates Motel) will be an executive producer and oversee the series with del Toro. Cuse will serve as showrunner if the pilot goes to series.  Hogan and Gary Ungar will also serve as Executive Producers.  FX Productions will produce.