Cirque du Freak Becomes The Vampire’s Assistant

It’s with some shame that I confess to having never read Darren Shan’s book series Cirque du Freak. Not yet, at least. I pride myself on staying atop the genre’s writers, but Shan continues to elude me. He hasn’t eluded Hollywood, however, as Universal is gearing up to release the big budget adaptation of Cirque this fall – only now there’s a title change to contend with.

Universal announced today via Twitter that Cirque du Freak will now be released theatrically on October 23 (a move up from January 15, 2010, as reported previously) under the new title The Vampire’s Assistant. It’s a name change that may seem a little strange at first, but it’s actually the title of Shan’s second book in the series.

The Vampire’s Assistant tells the story of a young runaway (Chris Massoglia) who reluctantly becomes the right-hand man of a bloodsucker set against the backdrop of the Cirque du Freak. We’ll find out this fall whether or not the film lives up to the books (which I understand have a pretty passionate following).


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Matt Serafini

Author (Under the Blade, Feral), slasher movie enthusiast, N7 Operative. Plays games, watches movies, reads books. Occasionally writes about them.

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  • Mephistopheles

    I finished the series a couple of weeks ago. Overall, I enjoyed the books, but its definitely meant for a younger audience. I think the author said he was trying to appeal to an audience that was too old for Goosebumps but too young for Stephen King.

    They’re all pretty quick reads, so I recommend you try giving the first three a shot. Just don’t expect anything heavy.

    At the same time, I’m hesitant about the film. The “three books in one” failed for the Lemony Snicket movie and it’ll probably come off like cliffnotes with this, and John C. Reilly IMO doesn’t fit how his character was described in the books.

  • The Butcher

    I don’t know if you should beat yourself up Matt about not reading Shan’s CIRQUE DU FREAK books. It’s pretty trite stuff,
    Now if you’ve yet to get around to Cody Goodfellow and his RADIANT DAWN/RAVENOUS DUSK duology, or up-and-comer Gord Rollo and his very creepy and sad JIGSAW MAN, or the late and criminally underappreciated old school fantasy/horror guru Karl Edward Wagner, author of the KANE books and the insanely good EXORCISMS AND ECSTASIES collection, well you have a reason to break out the cat ‘o nine tails and start flogging.


    • Masked Slasher

      Thanks for the recommendations there! I’m not familiar in the least with Gord Rollo so I’ll have to keep an eye out for his stuff.