The first trailer and poster for Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant have hit the Net and the trailer in particular is surprising people left and right with how good it looks.

Based on the twelve-volume young adult novels by author Darren Shan, Cirque Du Freak tells the story of a young boy (also named Darren Shan) who joins up with a circus of supernaturals under the tutelage of Larten Crepsley (John C. Reilly), a vampire who transforms Darren into a “half-vampire” to serve as his assistant.

The cast of the film features big names like Willem DaFoe, Salma Hayek, Ken Watanabe, Orlando Jones, Ray Stevenson, and 30 Rock’s Jane Krakowski. It’s helmed by Paul Weitz, director of American Pie.

Check out the first poster and trailer for The Vampire’s Assistant:

.

Click for Larger Version

.

.

Word is that this film will be based on the first trilogy in Shan’s four-trilogy book series, and will cover how Darren becomes a half-vampire; his reluctance to accept his new life; and finally the threat of the evil “vampenezee.”  In the world of Shan’s books, vampires aren’t evil: they don’t kill to feed, or suck blood through their fangs; instead they make small incisions in people’s shoulders, suck a bit of blood out and seal the wounds with their spit.

Vampires also don’t live forever (just age slowly) and are able to go out in the sun (though they burn easily). The “vampenezee,” on the other hand, are more akin to the bloodsucking fiends we know and love to hate.

As for the Cirque Du Freak: it’s awesome to see so many stars making freaks of themselves. Did you recognize the lovely Salma Hayek behind all that beard?

This film was nowhere on my radar before, but it is now. Don’t quite know how I feel yet about this particular take on vampire folklore (haven’t read the books), but I’m willing to give the movie a chance for now. As for the poster: considering all the crazy imagery of the trailer (and all the freaks to feature), the poster seems pretty lame. Hopefully the next one will be a bit more…freaky.

Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant hits theaters on October 29, 2009.

What did you think of the trailer and poster? If you want to see it in HD, head over here.

Source: Moviefone via Cinematical