By Lynette Rice
Updated July 11, 2012 at 07:05 PM EDT

Starz is tapping the creator of Spartacus and a writer on Thor to create new dramas for the pay cabler.

Steven S. DeKnight (Spartacus) is developing Incursion, an action-thriller that follows a squad of soldiers caught in a war against a hostile alien race. Here’s a statement from Starz: “Each season the battle will be fought on a new, exotic planet as humanity punches deeper into enemy territory. Grittily realistic combat, darkly complex characters and intrigue on a cosmic scale will permeate the tale of fighting men and women facing the pressures of war and an enemy unlike any ever seen.” Goodness!

Besides Spartacus, DeKnight has worked on Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel, Smallville, and Dollhouse.

Meanwhile, J. Michael Straczynski — whose credits include Thor, Underworld: Awakening, and The Changeling — is teaming with Roy Lee (The Ring) and Rob Tapert (Xena: Warrior Princess) in developing Vlad Dracula. Starz says the project is a “unique spin of the classic tale, blending the historical facts of the 15th century Prince of Wallachia, with the fictional Dracula whose story is known around the world and continues to fascinate audiences. Vlad Dracula traces his evolution from a revered ruler to the world’s most feared vampire, and his slow downfall as he struggles desperately to hang on to his humanity, his wife and his kingdom.”