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Axanar Loses Two of its Own – John Iacovelli and Darnell Davis Pass

By April 22, 2023 Captain's Log

Axanar lost two of its own this past week as Famous Art Director John Iacovelli and actor Darnell Davis both passed. Both were well known within fandom and we all mourn their passing.


John Iacovelli, the Emmy-winning prolific scenic designer for stage and screen, whose ability to balance poetics with pragmatism made him a beloved and invaluable collaborator for Los Angeles theater artists for many decades, died Friday after a long battle with cancer, his family told The Times. He was 64.

You can read the rest in the best article on his life in the LA Times, and I strongly urge you to do so.

John agreed to be the production designer on the Axanar movie, a huge coup for us at the time.  I got to work with John as he visited our studio several times, and worked on the finish of the bridge with me by taking me to his favorite suppliers in Los Angeles.

John’s website has some great content and you can see some of his amazing work here: https://www.iacovelli.com/#theatre-home

Diana Kingsbury and I got to go to his house for his Christmas party one year and it was an amazing experience.  We will miss him.

Babylon 5 Producer John Copeland, John, Iacovelli and Alec Peters.

Star Trek DP Doug Knapp with John on the Axanar bridge during construction in LA.

John inspecting materials for the bridge during a trip with Alec to his favorite LA suppliers.

John inspecting the Axanar transporter room in 2015.

John reviewing bridge paint colors with his assistant.


Darnell with Star Trek fan Michael Herbert

Darnell was a fixture in the Star Trek fan community. He cosplayed often, was at all the Star Trek Las Vegas conventions, and always had a big smile.  Darnell was at the Prelude to Axanar shoot in 2014 as a Klingon in a shot we wound up not using.  Darnell was shot as Admiral Ramirez from behind when our director forgot to shoot this shot at the Prelude shoot!

Darnell passed last week and the family posted this on his Facebook page.  The Star Trek community will miss his warmth and smile.

Darnell was shot as Admiral Ramirez from behind.



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