There was an infestation of zombies at Comic-Con International. While AMC’s The Walking Dead and its sister show Fear the Walking Dead were scaring audiences in the massive Hall H Friday morning, the cast and creators of another zombie show, The CW’s iZombie, were entertaining a packed house at the same time upstairs in the 4000-seat Ballroom 20.
Series creators and writers Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero were joined by the series stars Rose McIver (Liv Moore), Malcolm Goodwin (Clive Babineaux), Rahul Kohli (Ravi Chakrabarti), Robert Buckley (Major Lilywhite), David Anders (Blaine DeBeers), and Aly Michalka (Peyton Charles).
The discussion both looked back on the just-concluded Season 3 and also teased the upcoming Season 4, which is set to debut sometime next year.
The panel began with a sizzle reel, highlighting Season 3’s storyline–the lead-up to “Discovery Day,” the day humans learned about the existence of zombies, the purposeful infection of humans to create more zombies, the declaration of Seattle as a “zombie homeland,” and the promise by zombie leaders that live humans will not be bitten as long as Seattle is supplied a steady source of brains from the recently deceased. The season also ended with many of the main cast as new zombies, including Ravi, who thinks he may have discovered a cure for zombie-ism; the season closed with him having asked Liv to scratch him so he could test the cure on himself.
“We almost immediately regretted that (everyone is a zombie) decision immediately. So Season 3 will be a dream,” joked Thomas. “We started talking about that almost from day one of Season 1. There would be an evolution and one day the secret would be too big to keep in house. We thought it would happen around Season 4. At the time we didn’t know how many episodes we would get per season, so we may have gotten to that point a little earlier than we wanted. We thought it would open up the types of stories we would get to tell.”
Ruggiero said she originally envisioned Discovery Day for Season 7, but Thomas wanted it around Season 4 so they could have fun with it. Rob can tell a lot of story in a season. Season 4 will be everything you love about the old show but it’s this whole new world and pretty amazing.”
McIver welcomes the change of Liv not having to hide her zombie condition anymore. “She now has a community around her now that understands her. It’s much more of an ensemble now and she has a lot of support,” adding that the “New Seattle” that the characters live in will have a lot of stories to explore.
Kohli didn’t reveal whether the zombie cure his character created will work, but looks forward to the story possibilities that will come up. “I love playing the character dynamic,” he said. “It’s what the audience can connect with. It is tempting to want to play a zombie.”
Goodwin, whose love interest Dale was infected with the zombie virus in the season finale, said Clive will be there for her in the same way he has been there for Liv.
Buckley said that his character Major is fully committed to helping zombie organization Fillmore Graves. “He’s kind of found a home there. It provides him with a sense of purpose, which he hasn’t had. It also gets his mind off the whole ‘girlfriend exploded’ thing.”
Thomas teased that there will be a lot of friction in the new season between Major and Liv, ”and not the good kind.”
Anders, who spent most of last season as a cured zombie, neutered in comparison to how he was in Seasons 1 and 2, is looking forward to Blaine returning to his “mustache twirling ways.” In the finale, he threw his zombie father down a well, and left him there.
At this point, a video clip was shown of Robert Knepper (Prison Break), who plays Blaine’s father. Knepper revealed that he will now be a series regular in Season 4 before leaning into the camera to taunt his on-camera son. “Blaine…all is forgiven,” he whispered, before laughing in a threatening way.
“Angus is going to get out of the well, and he’s going to be up to no good. He’s going to have some very hardcore pro-zombie humans on his side,” teased Thomas. “There’s going to be a human terrorist organization that doesn’t want any human-zombie fraternization. This is not about one big bad (villain) this year. It’s coming at our characters from all sides of the spectrum.”
Thomas also teased that there “will be a gentleman that Liv will take a fancy to,” and that the character’s name was specifically chosen for the “shipper name that will stem from it. You’ll figure it out when you meet him,” Thomas joked.
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 Clive Babinaux, 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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