October 16, 2009

Cirque du Freak Movie: The Vampire’s Assistant

Posted by at 6:27 am in Authors, Book to Big Screen | Permalink

Cirquedufreak_130In the spirit of Halloween, we’re bringing you the scary scoop on Darren Shan’s sinister series Cirque Du Freak, and the upcoming movie The Vampire’s Assistant (PG-13) opening October 23rd. It’s based on the first three books of the series, and stars John C. Reiley, Ken Watanabe, Salma Hayek, and Chris Massoglia as Darren.

Vampire's Assistant

In the book series Darren is an ordinary kid who stumbles on a freak show with his best friend. When Darren steals a spider from a vampire, things quickly go wrong and Darren has to bargain for his friend’s life. The price? His becoming a half-vampire himself (i.e.vampire’s assistant!), and traveling with the nightmarish Cirque Du Freak.

This series is SO good. I’m talking stay-up-late-reading-under-the-covers good. It’s super freaky and scary, in ways you wouldn’t think a children’s book series could be. And believe it or not, we were able to get the author himself, Darren Shan, to give us an exclusive interview!! It must have been destiny. Read below. . . if you dare.

Q: Is Darren an “autobiographical” character?
Darren: No. He shares certain characteristics with me, as do most of my lead characters, but we’re not one and the same person, despite us sharing a name.

Q: Is there anything that creeps you out in real life?
Darren: Embarrassingly enough — spiders!!! Although the things that creep me out more than anything else are snakes — I can’t stand them!!

RATHA: Wow that must have given him nightmares writing these books! You Cirque Du Freak fans know what I mean — there are spiders and snakes aplenty. Madame Octa or Evra the Snake Boy,
anyone?

Q: What was your involvement, if any, in making the movie (The Vampire’s Assistant)?Darren: None. I opted to keep out of the process, so that I could stay focused on the books. I think the film-making process is best left to those who know what they’re doing.

Q: What are your favorite parts of the movie?
Darren: The opening credits. That might sound strange, but it’s not meant to be a criticism of the rest of the film. I honestly do like the movie overall — I just thought that the opening credits were truly amazing!

RATHA: Ok I will DEFINITELY have to make sure I’m not late for this movie, so I don’t miss those credits!

Q: Will diehard fans of the books like the movie?
Darren: Hard to tell. I think if they go in accepting that it’s going to be only a loose adaptation of the books, then they might enjoy it for what it is — as I did.

RATHA: Aah yes. It’s always tricky for us literary folks who love our books.

Q: What are you doing for Halloween this year?
Darren: I’m going to be celebrating it in Universal Studios Orlando!!! I’m not there for work, just a holiday, which turned out to be a happy twist of fate. . . or DESTINY!!!!!

RATHA: NICE! Be sure not to freak out Mickey or Minnie — hee hee! Seriously, thanks so much for the exclusive interview, Darren. I personally can’t wait to read the rest of the series! Right now I’m on Book #2: The Vampire’s Assistant.

If you are new to the series, take a look at Jake T. Austin talking about the book that starts it all, A Living Nightmare.

And let us know what creeps YOU out. I once almost drank a spider in the middle of the night. (I was drinking from a glass of water I kept by my bedside, when all of a sudden I felt something in my mouth. I spit it out and it was a dead spider, floating in the water. I guess it had somehow crawled in and drowned. Thank goodness I didn’t swallow it!) Anyways — leave a message in the Comments!

— Ratha, STACKS Writer

UPDATE: New Video with The Vampire’s Assistant actor Josh Hutcherson!

Movie image courtesy Universal Pictures

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  1. harrypotterfan17

    I don’t like vampire books but my friends got me to read this series and now I’m hooked on it! I started the 12th book yesterday…

    Reply
  2. funnycheering

    What creeps me out… hmm…. spiders, this one picture in a non-fiction outer space book that I have called Deep Space is gross and scary.

    Reply
  3. Vampire Lover

    This book is awsome because I was cleaning my sisters room and found her books. I started reading the first one because she said it was good. Every day I read two books and couldnt take my eyes away from the book. No matter what kind of lover you are(vampire, mystery, etc.) you will LOVE, and I mean L.O.V.E,THESE BOOKS!!!! I think the movie is way off, like how they find the poster, but it looks extreamly awesome. I AM SO SAD OF WHO DIES!!! I WAS IN TEARS AND SOOO SAD!!! I hope that they continue making the movies, and I will keep reading this series OVER and OVER AGAIN!! READ ON, SHAN LOVERS!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  4. Ana35

    I havent read this book, but wat really creeps me put is when werid noises come from somewhere in my house. There is some times no explanation. i just need to no wat it was.

    Reply
  5. Anne

    These books are just fantastic!!!
    Coming from France, that was the first entire serie my kids (17 & 14) read in English, and I have been hooked too!!!!The movie is kind of different, but we had a real good time. Thank you Darren!!!

    Reply
  6. Ashley

    Yes, the Cirque du freak series is dark, not as dark as the Demonata though. Everyone should read both these series. And no this series is NOTHING like twilight. there is NO romance, or very little. These vampires do not sparkle and its so much better. You don’t find books better than this.

    Reply
  7. boxer4356

    Okay, this totally sounds right up my alley. My little brother wants to read too, but I’m not so sure thats a good idea…. He doesn’t get scared THAT easily, but still, this book sounds REALLY creepy and dark. It may be to much for him. Yikes. Anyway, I know the only reason he wants to read it is because Jake T. Austin read it. Ugh…. >:(

    Reply
  8. Abby

    They’re on the same topic. (I’m tallying on my fingers. That makes four.) They’re both about Darren’s eyes.

    Reply
  9. Abby

    Okay, can anyone see my two other comments? They’re almost exactly the same, except one is longer and more of a thundering tirade.

    Reply
  10. Abby

    I don’t know if you guys have seen the trailers for this movie yet, even though they’re on TV, but Darren’s eyes creep me out! They’re, like, unnaturally huge and sparkly and silver. NO ONE has eyes like that! They’re just…inhuman! (Have I read too many fantasy books?)

    Reply
  11. Abby

    I don’t know if any of you have seen the trailers for this movie yet (they’re on TV; press the power button and turn it to a random channel, it should work), but Chris Massoglia’s eyes creep me out! They’re just so, so unnaturally HUGE! He looks like a little manga person! *bites lip* Don’t get me wrong, he’s good-looking, but it’s just…those eyes…there’s something about how big they are that makes me shiver. And the color, too. They’re pretty, sparkly and silver, but, call me crazy, it seems inhuman. I’ve never seen anyone with sparkly eyes before. Hmmm… *begins to wonder if she’s read too many fantasy books*

    Reply
  12. sunaura

    has anyone read twilight because I’m reading the book it’sreally good so far I also have the movie.
    sincerely,
    sunaura

    Reply
  13. twilight lover

    *spoiler alert*
    i love Darren Shan im reading the 10th book already. And i’ve got my teacher to read it to my class aswell…..i love the little people the are soooo cool ecspecialy Harket. but i know that he is Kurda Smahlt…i sortive cheated and went to the back of the book. Darren Shan is a great book series i’ve seen the trailer about 5 times. it’s so sad though how one of the princes die-(and so does mr crepsly) i almost cried cos well i suppose it was the way the auther was describing how upset Darren was. im sorry if i gave away too much for you guys who havn’t read and want to!!!! Anyway if you don’t wont to you really should because they are great books trust me they are.-(i love twilight and edward)!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  14. Misa

    OMG the series is awesome. It’s really addicting though, and by the fifth book, even though they’re good, I actually wished that I could make myself stop reading because it was so tragic. However, I was hooked, and often staying up until 1:00 AM just to finish whichever one I was on. Now, I try to forget the horror, and I make others experience it by forcing them to read the books. :) But they are very good. If you don’t mind gore and tragedy, and you love a good spine chill, go read them. Now. Before someone else checks them out of the library. In fact, what are you still doing reading my comment? You should be reading Cirque Du Freak, silly child!

    Reply
  15. oneorangeshoelace

    I really want to read this series but I can’t find them at any libraries. I haven’t looked in any bookstores yet, though… *turns away from computer* HEY MOM! CAN WE GO TO BARNES & NOBLE?? LIKE, RIGHT NOW?

    Reply