Watanabe joins U’s ‘Cirque’ troupe

Paul Weitz writing, directing vampire film

Ken Watanabe has signed on to join John C. Reilly and Salma Hayek in Universal Pictures vampire pic “Cirque du Freak.”

Paul Weitz is helming the film, which is based on the bestselling 12-book children’s series by Darren Shan. Weitz penned the screenplay while Brian Helgeland (“Mystic River”) wrote an earlier draft.

Reilly will play a vampire who drafts a 14-year-old to serve as his assistant. The youth is turned into a half-vampire and becomes the catalyst in a battle between vampires and the rival Vampanese. Hayek will play Madame Truska, the bearded lady.

Watanabe will portray Mr. Tall, the barker for the Cirque.

Shooting is set to start next month. Film marks Watanabe’s first studio role since Clint Eastwood’s “Letters From Iwo Jima.”

He is repped by Endeavor and ROAR.

More Film

  • Frances McDormand SAG Awards

    SAG Awards: Actors Fall Hard for 'Three Billboards' but the Oscar Race Is Far From Over

    Ken Watanabe has signed on to join John C. Reilly and Salma Hayek in Universal Pictures vampire pic “Cirque du Freak.” Paul Weitz is helming the film, which is based on the bestselling 12-book children’s series by Darren Shan. Weitz penned the screenplay while Brian Helgeland (“Mystic River”) wrote an earlier draft. Reilly will play […]

  • SAG Awards Snubs and Suprises

    SAG Awards: Biggest Snubs and Surprises

    Ken Watanabe has signed on to join John C. Reilly and Salma Hayek in Universal Pictures vampire pic “Cirque du Freak.” Paul Weitz is helming the film, which is based on the bestselling 12-book children’s series by Darren Shan. Weitz penned the screenplay while Brian Helgeland (“Mystic River”) wrote an earlier draft. Reilly will play […]

  • Blaze Sundance

    Sundance Film Review: 'BLAZE'

    Ken Watanabe has signed on to join John C. Reilly and Salma Hayek in Universal Pictures vampire pic “Cirque du Freak.” Paul Weitz is helming the film, which is based on the bestselling 12-book children’s series by Darren Shan. Weitz penned the screenplay while Brian Helgeland (“Mystic River”) wrote an earlier draft. Reilly will play […]

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    SAG Awards 2018: Rose Marie, Don Rickles, Adam West Honored During In Memoriam

    Ken Watanabe has signed on to join John C. Reilly and Salma Hayek in Universal Pictures vampire pic “Cirque du Freak.” Paul Weitz is helming the film, which is based on the bestselling 12-book children’s series by Darren Shan. Weitz penned the screenplay while Brian Helgeland (“Mystic River”) wrote an earlier draft. Reilly will play […]

  • Morgan Freeman

    Morgan Freeman Calls Out SAG for Gender-Specific Statue

    Ken Watanabe has signed on to join John C. Reilly and Salma Hayek in Universal Pictures vampire pic “Cirque du Freak.” Paul Weitz is helming the film, which is based on the bestselling 12-book children’s series by Darren Shan. Weitz penned the screenplay while Brian Helgeland (“Mystic River”) wrote an earlier draft. Reilly will play […]

  • SAG Awards 2018 Winners

    SAG Awards: 'Three Billboards,' 'This Is Us' Take Top Prizes

    Ken Watanabe has signed on to join John C. Reilly and Salma Hayek in Universal Pictures vampire pic “Cirque du Freak.” Paul Weitz is helming the film, which is based on the bestselling 12-book children’s series by Darren Shan. Weitz penned the screenplay while Brian Helgeland (“Mystic River”) wrote an earlier draft. Reilly will play […]

  • China Box Office: Aamir Khan's 'Superstar'

    China Box Office: Aamir Khan's 'Superstar' Wins Crowded Weekend

    Ken Watanabe has signed on to join John C. Reilly and Salma Hayek in Universal Pictures vampire pic “Cirque du Freak.” Paul Weitz is helming the film, which is based on the bestselling 12-book children’s series by Darren Shan. Weitz penned the screenplay while Brian Helgeland (“Mystic River”) wrote an earlier draft. Reilly will play […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content