Getting the flu is a major bummer. But it’s waaay preferable to a contagious virus that turns you into a vampire, the all-too-creepy premise behind FX’s July horror epic The Strain. Based on the book trilogy by director Guillermo del Toro (Pacific Rim) and author Chuck Hogan, and executive-produced by Lost’s Carlton Cuse, the 13-episode series focuses on an epidemiologist (House of Cards’ Corey Stoll) who must battle a parasitic sickness threatening to transform New Yorkers into plasma-loving monsters.
The main carrier of the disease? The Master, one of the oldest vampires in existence. The Strain’s brutal behemoth is so complicated to operate that it takes two men (actor Robert Maillet and dancer Roberto Campanella) plus several visual-effects artists to bring him to life on screen. Del Toro shares this exclusive early sketch of the villain and talks about creating the ultimate bloodsucker.