It was a cold and rainy morning in Pasadena when the CW day kicked off at the 2015 TCA winter press tour, but with a full belly from warm breakfast – not braaaaains – we got the scoop on Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas’ latest TV endeavour, iZombie. Based on the comic book by the same name, the show stars New Zealand native Rose McIver (aka Tinkerbell on Once Upon a Time), as Liv, an over-achieving medical resident whose life is derailed when she unexpectedly becomes a zombie.
1. There’s a distinct difference between Liv and Veronica Mars.
Veronica Mars fans will notice the stylistic similarities – the first person voiceover narration, the quippy female lead – and comedic sensibilities but Rob Thomas assured us that’s where the similarities end when defining his two leading ladies. “Veronica, when I write her, I think of a porcupine. That’s her spirit animal,” he said. And as for Liv? “She’s very sensitive. Everything affects her. It would be full circle if I said [her spirit animal] is a sloth.”
2. Dave Anders is funny!
Many will recognize Anders from his more dark and serious roles on The Vampire Diaries, but he’s relishing the chance to play for a laugh. “Blaine is just a zombie crime boss trying to find his way in the world. It’s a lot of fun,” said Anders of his character. “Rob tells me when I’m not chewing enough scenery, to chew more of it.”
3. Rob Thomas is not afraid to call on old friends…
During our scrum the Cinefilles asked about Veronica Mars actors appearing on the show and Thomas was quick to toss out some names. “Percy Daggs is in an episode. Ryan Hansen is in an episode. And if we are fortunate enough to go beyond that, I will call in favours.”
4. Much like we expect from the CW, there will be love and sex.
“We were calling the show ZILFs for a while,” joked EP Thomas. But the aim is to create a show around a zombie you can fall in love with, or rather “a zombie you can date.” And date Liv will! “She’ll be squired about town,” Anders proclaimed after Thomas teased that a “zombie gentleman caller” will be introduced in episode five.
5. iZombie will be a departure from the comics…and zombie mythology in general
EPs Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright are having a blast defining their show’s mythology, from getting rid of the comic book’s grave digger character (who was Liv’s source of brains – she’s now an assistant medical examiner and gets them from her work) to deciding what Liv’s special abilities may be. Thomas revealed there was a lengthy debate in the writers’ room about if each brain would give Liv a special talent that week: “At the end of the day, we decided to say yes to those things.” To which McIver chimed in, “I’ve never been more terrified of getting scripts. I get text messages asking if I can do a cartwheel.” Luckily, McIver can, Ruggiero-Wright confirmed.
iZombie debuts Tuesday, March 17 at 9 p.m. ET on The CW. Check out the preview now: