An important supporting character in the new film version of “Dark Shadows” has been cast. Ivan Kaye will play Joshua Collins, father of the central character Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp). Kaye has played a variety of roles before now, including Ludovico Sforza on Showtime’s “The Borgias” as well as the recurring character of Dr. Jonathan LeRoy on “Eastenders.” His casting marks one specific break from a tradition in both previous incarnations of the series. Both the original program as well as the 1991 revival cast actors as Joshual Collins who had also portrayed characters in the modern day. The late Louis Edmonds portrayed Joshua in the 1960s as well as the Roger Collins in the present time (a role taken by Jonny Lee Miller in the Burton film). In 1991 veteran character actor Stefan Gierash was both Joshua and Professor Michael Woodard.
Filming for the vampire tale is taking place in Beckenham Place in south east London, part of Kent. The estate was built by John Cator (1728-1806), a wealthy timber merchant and member of Parliament. Ironically enough, his wife’s maiden name was Collinson. It is difficult not to imagine that the Pallandian manor house is not doubling for Old House of the series. Whether such is the case or not, no doubt exists the manor is being used. A photo from the set shows a rain machine on a crane in use, while a female figure performs a stunt that looks like escaping out of a window. As to who exactly this character might be–the most common guesses are Helena Bonham Carter as Dr. Julia Hoffman, Bella Heathcote as Victoria Winters, or Chloe Grace Moretz as Carolyn Stoddard.
In other news, by now it can be confirmed that Jonathan Frid (the original Barnabas), Lara Parker (Angelique), David Selby (Quentin Collins) and Kathryn Leigh Scott (Maggie Evans) have indeed made their cameo appearances in the film. Who they portray and how they fit into the film is anyone’s guess at this point.
Associated with all this is the publication of “Dark Passages” a novel by Kathryn Leigh Scott. Like Parker, she is a published author, but unlike her former nemesis this is her first foray into fiction (Parker penned two Dark Shadows novels, one detailing an origin for her evil character). Scott’s book tells of a vampire actress and former Playboy bunny (like Scott herself) who finds herself cast in a gothic soap opera. Art imitating life, clearly.
Hopefully, with the Dark Shadows Festival scheduled for August 19 some new tidbits will become available. Actress Kathleen Cody (who played Hallie Stokes on the series) is helping organize a 45th Anniversary Event celebrating the past and the upcoming future of this cult classic!