We thought Guillermo del Toro's forthcoming FX horror adaptation pilot 'The Strain' had delivered its biggest casting with yesterday's addition of 'Lord of the Rings' star Sean Astin, but today has proven us literally wrong. Hulking 'Pacific Rim' star Robert Maillet has signed on to play the vampire thriller's major villain, so can a series order from FX be far behind?

According to Deadline, Canadian former wrestler Maillet ('Sherlock Holmes,' '300') will play the role of "The Master" (no, not that one), who comes to New York City aboard a plane from Europe and begins a strategic and systematic takeover of the world's population, despite the efforts of Dr. Ephraim "Eph" Goodweather (Corey Stoll) and others battling to save humanity.

Based on del Toro's 2009 novel trilogy, ‘The Strain’ follows Stoll's Goodweather, a CDC operative who investigates a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. As the strain spreads, Eph, his team and an assembly of everyday New Yorkers wage war for the fate of humanity itself. Also present among the cast are 'Alias' star Mia Maestro, ‘Hellboy‘ and ‘Doctor Who‘ star John Hurt, Lauren Lee Smith, Miguel Gomez, Kevin Durand (‘LOST‘), Jonathan Hyde (‘The Mummy’) and Richard Sammel (‘Inglorious Basterds’).

Former ‘LOST’ and current ‘Bates Motel‘ showrunner Carlton Cuse will helm FX’s adaptation, from a screenplay by del Toro and novel co-writer Michael Hogan. Hogan and Gary Ungar will also serve as executive producers. As previously mentioned, FX has yet to issue a series order for the buzzworthy adaptation, despite the increasingly impressive pedigree of its cast and crew.

Hopefully we'll hear more in the way of a potential 13-episode pickup from FX either during or after Comic-Con, but in the meantime what say you? Would you be interested to catch ‘The Strain’ from FX? What do you hope to see from the series when production begins in Toronto this September?

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