Gallery update with images from the 2014 San Diego Comic Con.
iZombie is headed to The CW for a midseason premiere, and executive producers Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright and cast members Rose McIver, Malcolm Goodwin, Rahul Kohli, Robert Buckley, and David Anders brought an extended look of the series to Comic-Con. There were initially going to air the pilot, but recent casting changes altered their plans. The 10-15 minutes of footage introduced the basics of the series and showed it’s a zombie show unlike any other.
Since Veronica Mars alums are involved, let’s address the elephant in the room. iZombie definitely has similarities to Thomas’ previous series about a sarcastic teenage detective. Rose McIvers plays Liv Moore, a med student who became a zombie during a wild party on a boat. The preview showcased the character’s humor, how she’s dealing with the changes, and how she develops psychic-ish powers. When she eats a corpse’s brains, she channels that person’s memories and even physical abilities. She uses her skills to help catch murderers. She’s so charming that I already want to be her best friend.
The dialogue was snappy, smart, and reminiscent of Mars, but Liv is clearly a different person. She’s surrounded by a pal and co-worker in the morgue who figures out her secret and wants to help cure her (Rahul Kohli), a detective who seems to believe and put stock in her psychic skills early on (Malcolm Goodwin, who channeled Shaft for the role), an ex-fiancé she still loves (Robert Buckley), and of course, there’s a villainous zombie (David Anders). Liv will be solving a mystery of the week, but the series has bigger arcs.
Rob Thomas said “People often put Veronica Mars and Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the same category, and I would say that iZombie falls closer to Buffy.” He stated there will be more action in iZombie than in Veronica Mars, but that they definitely will be living in a dramatic world with a sense of humor.
The television show is similar to the comic it’s based on, but it’s by no means a straight adaptation. They took the general idea from the iZombie comic and added more. They had Liv work in the police morgue so she has a constant supply of cases to solve and brains to eat. Thomas confirmed that iZombie will be a straight zombie show without incorporating other monsters seen in the comics.
As far as the powers she gains when she eats the brains, Thomas said both personality and physical traits from the corpse transfer. “If she ate the brain of a concert pianist, she’s going to be able to do that. She also picks up some negative traits. She becomes a kleptomaniac in the pilot. She’s always inheriting some qualities of the deceased.” He stressed that the memories and powers she receives from any given brain never completely takes over Liv’s free will, and that she’ll retain everything from a given brain for as long as she keeps eating it.
Liv doesn’t have it easy. She will have to fight to keep her zombie desires under control. We saw a peek at her going full zombie in the preview, but she’s able to pull back. Thomas said the change is triggered by adrenaline, and she won’t be able to turn it on and off. He made compared the effect to what the Bruce Banner goes through with Hulk. Apparently, the line “Liv Smash” got cut from the pilot episode.
As mentioned, the series does have a mystery of the week vibe, but that’s not all. Thomas emphasized there will be cases to investigate but that they want to deliver on the zombie premise. There will be big zombie plotlines like finding the survivors of the party massacre when Liv turned and Liv figuring out she might be the lynchpin in preventing the zombie apocalypse.
And if blood and guts isn’t your cup of tea, don’t worry. Thomas said, “We’re never going to be The Walking Dead in terms of gore. It will not be shotgun blast to the head after shotgun blast to the head.”
iZombie is headed to Comic-Con! Read below for the official press release and schedule:
Warner Bros. Television group amps up the action at comic-con 2014 with super heroes, super-villains, scientists, vampires, vigilantes and a massive saturday night event with dc entertainment. Studio Brings 15 Series to Comic-Con from Top Producers Including Greg Berlanti, Bruno Heller, Greg Plageman, Julie Plec, Rob Thomas & Diane Ruggiero-Wright, Kevin Williamson and Many More. In Addition to a First Ever Saturday Night WBTV/DC Entertainment Event, Fans Won’t Want to Miss Panels and Signings with the Stars and Producers of Arrow, The Big Bang Theory, Childrens Hospital, Constantine, The Flash, The Following, Gotham, The 100, iZOMBIE, Mike Tyson Mysteries, The Originals, Person of Interest, Supernatural, Teen Titans Go! and The Vampire Diaries
SPECIAL SNEAK PEEK PILOT SCREENINGS
WEDNESDAY, JULY 23
iZOMBIE: Co-created and executive produced by Rob Thomas & Diane Ruggiero-Wright (Veronica Mars), along with executive producers Danielle Stokdyk and Dan Etheridge (also of Veronica Mars), Rose McIver (Masters of Sex, Once Upon a Time) stars as Olivia “Liv” Moore, a 25-year-old medical resident on the fast track to a perfect life … until she’s turned into a zombie. Liv transfers her residency to the coroner’s office for access to the brains she must reluctantly eat, but with each brain she consumes, she inherits the corpse’s memories. With her medical examiner boss and a police detective, she now solves homicides to quiet the voices in her head. iZOMBIE is based upon characters created by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred for Vertigo.
WBTV/WBA SERIES SCHEDULE
FRIDAY, JULY 25
11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. — iZOMBIE (Midseason on The CW): iZOMBIE makes its Comic-Con debut with a screening of the complete pilot episode, followed by a Q&A with series stars Rose McIver (Once Upon a Time), Malcolm Goodwin (Breakout Kings), newcomer Rahul Kohli and Robert Buckley (One Tree Hill), as well as executive producers Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars) and Diane Ruggiero-Wright (Veronica Mars). Room 6BCF
New dramas iZOMBIE and THE MESSENGERS will debut in 2015, along with the return of romantic comedy Hart Of Dixie and fan-favorite drama Beauty And The Beast.
Olivia “Liv” Moore was a rosy-cheeked, disciplined, over-achieving medical resident who had her life path completely mapped out…until the night she attended a party that unexpectedly turned into a zombie feeding frenzy. As one of the newly undead, Liv is doing her best to blend in and look as human as possible. Her appearance now passes for “Goth,” with shockingly pale skin and nearly white hair, and her demeanor has gone from exuberant to exhausted. The change in Liv is baffling to her mother, her former fiancé, Major, and her best friend and roommate, Peyton, who still has the high-energy, Type-A personality that Liv has completely abandoned. Despite her post-traumatic ennui, Liv has devised a way to resist her baser urges to devour fresh human brains – she’s taken a job in the Seattle coroner’s office.
In this appropriately dead-end job, Liv can secretly snack on the brains of the many Jane and John Doe corpses that make a final stop in the morgue. Despite carefully covering her tracks, Liv’s boss, Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti, discovers her secret and is surprisingly excited about the scientific possibilities.Even with her boss’ enthusiasm, Liv remains resigned to an eternity without hope or purpose, until she realizes that with every brain she consumes, she retains a portion of that person’s memories. Liv begins to experience visions from the point of view of the murder victims. Much to the surprise of Dr. Ravi and homicide detective Clive Babineaux, Liv often has detailed knowledge of crime scenes and motives that she can’t easily explain. Posing as a psychic, she works with Detective Babineaux to investigate these crimes and discover who is responsible. It’s not the same as being alive again, but at least Liv can find purpose in her undead existence by helping Clive solve the murders of those who are indeed fully dead.
The series stars Rose McIver (“Masters of Sex,” “Once Upon A Time”) as Liv, Malcolm Goodwin (“Breakout Kings”) as Clive Babineaux, newcomer Rahul Kohli as Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti, Robert Buckley (“One Tree Hill”) as Major Lilywhite, Alexandra Krosney (“Last Man Standing”) as Peyton Charles, David Anders (“Once Upon A Time,” “The Vampire Diaries”) as Blaine DeBeers and Nora Dunn (“Entourage,” “Saturday Night Live”) as Eva Moore. Based upon characters created by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred, and published by DC Entertainment’s Vertigo imprint,iZOMBIE is from Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Spondoolie Productions and Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Rob Thomas (“Veronica Mars,” “Party Down,” “Cupid”), Diane Ruggiero-Wright (“Veronica Mars,” “The Ex List,” “That’s Life”), Danielle Stokdyk (“Veronica Mars,” “Party Down,” “Cupid”) and Dan Etheridge (“The Carrie Diaries,” “Veronica Mars,” “Party Down”). The pilot was directed by Rob Thomas.
The CW split its new series orders between sister studios Warner Bros TV and CBS TV Studios, with two pickups for each. That includes DC Comics-themed The Flash, from Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg, and iZombie, from Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero, produced by Warner Bros TV, and soap Jane The Virgin, from Jennie Snyder Urman, and thriller The Messengers, produced by CBS TV Studios. The CW had been mulling picking up four or five new series depending on how many bubble series it would return — four new, three returning or five new and two returning. With The 100, Hart Of Dixie and Beauty And The Beast now renewed, the network went with four new series this season vs. five last season as it also previously renewed Arrow, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Supernatural, and Reign.
A med student-turned-zombie takes a job in the coroner’s office to gain access to the brains she must reluctantly eat to maintain her humanity, but with each brain she consumes, she inherits the corpse’s memories. With the help of her medical examiner boss and a police detective, she solves homicide cases in order to quiet the disturbing voices in her head.
CAST: Rose McIver, Malcolm Goodwin, Alexandra Krosney, David Anders, Robert Buckley, Nora Dunn, Ruhul Kohli
TEAM: Rob Thomas, Diane Ruggiero, Danielle Stokdyk, Dan Etheridge.