• STALE POPCORN | 15 November 2007 |

    On 15th November 2007, Universal announced that filming of the Cirque Du Freak movie would begin in February 2008. They also announced the names of the first three actors cast in the movie. Here is one of the many media reports of that announcement.

    STALE POPCORN - 15/nov/2007

    If you have never read The Saga of Darren Shan then you won’t know what I’m talking about here, so let me fill you in before we get to the meat of this story. The Saga of Darren Shan is a series of twelve childrens books that tells the story of the titular Darren and his adventures when he meets a mysterious man called Larten Crepsley. It turns out that Crepsley is a vampire and he turns Darren into a half-vampire and makes him his assistant. Together they travel the World with in the company of the Cirque du Freak, which is a freak show run by the equally mysterious Mr Tall. As the story goes on Darren learns to accept his new life and ends up helping the vampires in their battle with the Vampaneze, who are a race of vampires who split off from the others due to their beliefs about drinking blood. The vampires believe that you shouldn’t drain people totally while the vampaneze always kill when they feed. And they are a very good read and are pretty popular and we are now going to get a movie version of the Saga from director Paul Weitz (director of About A Boy and American Dreamz) and writer Brian Helgeland (writer of Payback and Man On Fire, among others), which according to the “official announcement” from Universal will adapt “some of the storylines of the novels for the screen”. And the 3 main players, of Darren Shan, Mr Crepsley and Steve Leonard, in the story have been cast!John C. Reilly as Larten Crepsley. Crepsley is described as a gaunt man with a shock of orange hair and when the casting of Reilly was first announced I wasn’t convinced. But then I saw the below picture of him over at the IMDB and I am now thinking that he might well be a good fit after all. Reilly has starred in movies like Talladega Nights, Dark Water and Gangs of New York and I think he will be pretty interesting in the part.

    Josh Hutcherson has been cast in the role of Steve Leonard (I’m not going to fill you in on all the details here but Leopard is as important to the story as Darren Shan). He’s starred in Bridge To Terabithia and Zathura: A Space Adventure amongst other movies.

    And newcomer Chris Kelly has been cast in the pivotal central role as Darren Shan. Well, according to Darren Shan’s (the author of the books) MySpace page anyway. If you check out the IMDB information for the movie they have a Chris Kelly listed as starring in the movie but I’m thinking it’s not the right one as his IMDB listing has him starring in things like a TV show from 2000 called So Weird (never heard of it) credited as “Father”. I think this might make him a little too old to play the teenage Darren Shan!

    The books, even though they were written for children, are actually a very good read. There are twelve books in the entire series but, as they are pretty short, I am going to hazard a guess that the first movie will actually be an adaption of the first three books, The Cirque du Freak, The Vampires Assistant and Tunnels of Blood. Of course, I could be wrong about this! The movie is (supposedly) going to be released in 2008 but if this is the case, with the writers strike etc, remains to be seen. But I am looking forward to this anyway.

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