The jig is up! The news is out! In the Season 3 finale of iZombie, the world found out zombies exist. In the face of possible bioterrorism, the residents of Seattle rushed to inoculate themselves against a deadly disease, only to find themselves infected with the zombie virus instead. Anyone who received the vaccine — including FBI agent Dale Bozzio and newscaster Johnny Frost — almost immediately began to turn. Liv quickly realized D-Day, or Discover Day, was upon them and forced Frost to broadcast the symptoms of zombism, thus revealing zombies to the population at large — and bringing Season 3 to a close.
But where does iZombie go from here? Fortunately, executive producer and co-creator Rob Thomas was on hand to answer that question and several others. Speaking to CBR, Thomas revealed the government’s reaction to Seattle’s zombie outbreak, what that cliffhanger means for fan-favorite character Ravi Chakrabarti, when Season 4 will pick up, how the show will maintain its procedural storylines and more.
CBR: Was that massive zombie outbreak always part of the plan for iZombie? How did that develop?
Rob Thomas: It was, yes. There was some debate about when it would happen, and we always kind of thought the end of Season 3, but admittedly we didn’t know that we would be doing these 13-episode seasons. We thought we might be doing longer seasons, so there was some discussion about pushing it to Season 4, but I’m pretty happy that we kind of went with the end of Season 3.
Chase Graves’ broadcast really opened iZombie‘s world. Could we see the show start to incorporate settings beyond Seattle?
That’s tough for us! You know, we have discussed a couple storylines. Seattle is going to become a walled city in Season 4, sort of like West Berlin. We’re going to play it that the U.S. government has put up a wall to keep all the zombies in Seattle. We have discussed a couple storylines where characters have to get out of the city and get certain items to the government, but our shoot is in Vancouver and there’s a certain look to the Pacific Northwest that’s hard to get away from. So we might to be able to get an establishing shot of some other city and then shoot a scene in an office and say we’re in Washington D.C., but it would be hard for us to say we’re doing a road trip across the Southwest U.S. That would just be too tough for us to fake, being where we are. I think you might see scenes where we say we’re out of Seattle, but it won’t feel like a road trip. It won’t feel like one of those going-cross-country zombie movies or TV shows.
In light of the zombie outbreak, how will the show maintain its procedural nature?
Well, the city still has to function, so Chase Graves is trying to keep Seattle running and the mayor’s office is trying to keep the city running. I mean, even in that video, he says the trash is still going to get picked up, the mail’s going to get delivered… Things are going to be a little weird, but they are going to keep happening. Fillmore-Graves is actually going to handle murdered zombies; they’re going to have their own detective handling murdered zombies cases, and we’re going to see that detective every once in a while. The Seattle police department will still handle murdered humans, and — in fact — they’re going to bring on a couple more zombies who work with the other detectives. Liv will continue to work with Clive, so things will have a slightly different bent but murders still have to be solved. It’s a city in crisis, so you could argue there’d even be more murders, because it’s a city of unrest right now, a lot of families in crisis. A lot of crazy stuff is going on in the city. So that element of the show, we kind of need to keep. Part of the joy of the show is Liv eating a new brain each week and putting on this new personality and having whatever new talents or skills she has. That’s part of the magic of the show that we want to keep.
Just how worried should we be about Ravi?
You should know that he’s just about everyone’s favorite character or second favorite character, and we’re not going to kill him off. We know that he survives Liv’s scratch. So Ravi is not dead. I will promise everyone that. The vaccination he took will have some side effects, and people will get to see them in [season] 4 [episode] 1, so we do not make people wait see what happens from Liv’s scratch and that vaccination.
Because so many crazy things happened in the finale, Liv didn’t seem to have much time to really digest her new reality. Will that be something that’s explored in Season 4?
Well, we’re going to pick up three months later, so she will have had time to digest it quite a bit more. We will see where she has landed with it. One of the big things we’re going to be playing is that… Fillmore-Graves has become a bit of a wedge issue between her and Major. You know, Major is pretty fully aboard the Fillmore-Graves train. He loves being there; he thinks they’re doing the right thing, that he’s on the right side and that Chase Graves is a great guy and a terrific leader. I think Liv is becoming less and less enamored with Fillmore-Graves and kind of thinks they’re right-wing bullies.
Clive and Peyton are now humans in a zombie world. Could that impact their dynamic?
No. I mean, they are humans with a group of friends who are zombies with a lot of zombies around them, but — in our estimation – there are ten thousand zombies in Seattle and a half million humans. So it’s really still a mostly-human city. Zombies are still the exception most places. They are a small minority, although everyone is very aware of them now. So I don’t think it’ll affect their dynamic. You may see a little bit more of them together this year, just from a little bit of the stories we’re planning, but I don’t think it’s because they’re two humans.
We saw the return of both Dale and Mr. Boss this season. How will they factor into Season 4?
We’re going to see a lot of Dale. I’m not sure if Mr. Boss is or not. Right now, we don’t have any plans for Mr. Boss, but Bozzio is going to be back quite a bit. She’s going to be the new Lieutenant because she can’t go back to the FBI, because she’s walled in in Seattle. She can’t leave Seattle because she’s a zombie. She can’t go back to the FBI, so she takes a job and so she’s the new Lieutenant. Technically, she is Clive’s boss at the police station.
Expected to return to The CW next year for its fourth season, iZombie is produced by Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright, the creators of Veronica Mars, and stars Rose McIver as Olivia Moore, Malcolm Goodwin as CliveBabinaux, Rahul Kohli as Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti, Robert Buckley as Major Lilywhite, David Anders as Blaine DeBeers, Aly Michalka as Peyton Charles and newcomer Jason Dohring as Chase Graves.
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