8:00am PT by Kate Stanhope
'Van Helsing' Series Casts 'True Blood' Alum as Title Character
Van Helsing has found its leading lady.
Former True Blood regular Kelly Overton has been cast in the title role of the upcoming Syfy series as Vanessa Helsing, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
In the new interpretation of the literary figure, the central character is now a woman, a descendent of the Van Helsing lineage of warriors who is resurrected and now must lead mankind against a world controlled by vampires in the post-Rising landscape.
Overton, whose other credits include Legends and Beauty and the Beast, is repped by Innovative Artists.
The cast will also include Jonathan Scarfe (Hell on Wheels) as Axel, a career Marine with unwavering devotion and loyalty to both duty and his wards, despite years of isolation and endless vampire attacks. Scarfe is repped by Michael Greene & Associates and More/Medavoy.
Christopher Heyerdahl (True Blood) will play Sam, a survivor of the vampire Rising, who relies on his strength and observational skills to stay alive. Heyerdahl is repped by Michael Greene & Associates.
Paul Johansson (Mad Men) will portray Dimitri, a vampire turned before the Rising, who is now the patient and calculating leader of the vampires. Johansson is repped by Gilbertson Entertainment and Stone Manners Salners Agency.
David Cubitt (Ray Donovan) will play John, another survivor of the vampire Rising, whose actions are fueled by anger, prejudice, suspicion and fear. Cubitt is repped by APA and The Characters.
Tim Guinee (The Good Wife) will portray Ted, a vampire foot soldier who does battle with Vanessa and conceals a tragic past. Guinee is repped by Principal Entertainment.
Additionally, Van Helsing has added several directors, including Michael Nankin (Hell on Wheels), Jason Priestley (Haven), David Frazee (Orphan Black), Simon Barry (Continuum) and Amanda Tapping (The Magicians).
Syfy first acquired the Nomadic Pictures-produced series in November, setting Neil LaBute as showrunner. He will executive produce with Simon Barry, Evan Tyler, Dave Brown, Zadoc Angell, Dynamic Television's Daniel March and Chad Oakes and Mike Frisley for Nomadic Pictures (Fargo). Nomadic will distribute Van Helsing within Canada, while Fallout Asylum and Dynamic will distribute the series in the U.S. as well as internationally.
Production on the 13-episode first season begins next week for a fall launch.
"We are so fortunate to have assembled this cast for Season 1 of Van Helsing,” said Oakes. “Kelly will be an amazing Vanessa and our lead cast is nothing short of outstanding. We have had the honor to work with all of our episodic directors, especially our incredibly talented pilot director Michael Nankin … and can’t wait until cameras roll on Monday.”