- Cast: John C. Reilly, Josh Hutcherson, Chris Massoglia, Jessica Carlson, Michael Cerveris, Ray Stevenson, Patrick Fugit, Daniel Newman, Morgan Saylor, Don McManus, Colleen Camp, Ken Watanabe, Salma Hayek, Orlando Jones, Frankie Faison, Willem Dafoe, Kristen Schaal, Patrick Breen, Tom Woodruff Jr., Jane Krakowski, Drew Rin Varick, John D. Crawford, Ritchie Montgomery, Ted Manson, Ann Mckenzie, Monica Monica
- Director: Paul Weitz
- Writers: Paul Weitz, Brian Helgeland
- Producers: Ewan Leslie, Lauren Shuler Donner
- Co Producer: John Swallow
- Executive Producers: Kerry Kohansky, Dan Kolsrud, Rodney Liber, Andrew Miano, Courtney Pledger, Sarah Radclyffe
- Art Direction: Seth Reed
- Casting: Joseph Middleton
- Costume Design: Judianna Makovsky
- D.O.P.: J. Michael Muro
- Editor: Leslie Jones
- Makeup: Fionagh Cush
- Music: Stephen Trask
- Production Design: William Arnold
- Set Decoration: David Smith
"Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant," based on the popular series of books by Darren Shan, is a fantasy-adventure about a teenager who unknowingly breaks a 200-year-old truce between two warring factions of vampires. Pulled into a fantastic life of misunderstood sideshow freaks and grotesque creatures of the night, one teen will vanish from the safety of a boring existence and fulfill his destiny in a place drawn from nightmares.
16-year-old Darren (Chris Massoglia) was like most kids in his suburban neighborhood. He hung out with his best friend Steve (Josh Hutcherson), got decent grades and usually stayed out of trouble. But when he and his buddy stumble upon a traveling freak show, things begin to change inside Darren. That's the exact moment when a vampire named Larten Crepsley (John C. Reilly) turns him into something, well, bloodthirsty.
Newly undead, he joins the Cirque Du Freak, a touring sideshow filled with monstrous creatures from a snakeboy and a wolfman to a bearded lady (Salma Hayek) and a gigantic barker (Ken Watanabe). As Darren flexes his newfound powers in this dark world, he becomes a treasured pawn between the vampires and their deadlier counterparts. And while trying to survive, one boy will struggle to keep their brewing war from devouring what's left of his humanity.
- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Filming Locations: Baton Rouge, USA; New Orleans, USA
- MPAA Warning: Sequences of intense supernatural violence and action, disturbing images, thematic elements and some language
- Production Budget: $70 million
- Production Companies: Universal Pictures, Relativity Media, Donners' Company, Depth of Field Productions
- Production Schedule: 19 February 2008 - 1 June 2008
Students who attended a school in which a few scenes of the movie were shot were cast as extras.
A portion of the film was shot in Studio 28 at Universal Studios in Los Angeles. It is the oldest known sound stage in the history of the studio.
Some of the characters required a great deal of prosthetics and makeup. Prosthetics did not quite add the height needed on certain shots for the character of Mr. Tall played by Ken Watanabe. Although Watanabe's height of 6ft is tall a body double was cast for certain shots. Trevon Flores, a local basketball player, stands at 6-foot-10, 210-pounds and was used for certain shots to show the abnormal height of Mr. Tall. Additionally Watanabe utilized in pre-production and production, dialogue coaches Kathleen S. Dunn and Francie Brown respectfully to further enhance his performance as the circus barker.
This is the first time Paul Weitz makes a film without help from his brother Chris Weitz