Can you hear that cry? It's not the roar of the living dead rising to munch brains and cause mayhem. It's the giddy audience at Comic Con International at San Diego, cheering wildly in anticipation for exclusive footage from CW's gory gem iZombie. And Spinoff is here to bring you all the excitement from TV's only zom-com-rom-dram's special video presentation and Q&A.
Season two came to a close with a bonkers bloodbath and a dizzying amount of game-changers. Detective Clive Babineaux (Malcolm Goodwin) finally knows about Team Z. Peyton (Aly Michalka) is tangled in a love triangle with Ravi (Rahul Kohli) and Blaine (David Anders), who has no memories of his many, many sins. Major (Robert Buckley) is also among the brain biters. Second season baddie Vaughn Du Clark (Steven Webber) is dead and done. And Liv has been invited into a conspiracy to make sleepy Seattle the zombie capitol, courtesy of Max Rager's new military overlord Vivian Stoll (Andrea Savage). It's drama so gonzo and delectable, that we're drooling as if Liv (Rose McIver) has unleashed her latest Instagrammable brain recipe.
With season three many torturous months away, we're slobbering for any peek of what's to come. And we'll be sharing all we hear and see with you here as the panel progresses. So be sure to refresh this page to get the latest from our live report!
Here we go...
Season two highlight reel. Liv as a superhero, a burping bro, an exotic danger, a gambling addict, a magician, a oversexed erotica writer, and a furious old curmudgeon. Blaine pranking his dastardly unthawed dad with the help of age make-up. Rob Thomas name-dropping. Ravi and Peyton's memorable makeout scene. Blaine's capture of major, his assassination by Mr. Boss, and subsequent rising among frightened girl scouts. And of course, that cliffhanger. "Are you with us? Or against us?"
Today's guests include executive producers Diane Ruggiero-Wright and Rob Thomas, Aly Michalka, Rahul Kohli, David Anders, Malcolm Goodwin, and Rose McIver.
Will Liv support season three's "big bad" and her quest for conquering Seattle? McIver admits, "Liv is very conflicted," adding Vivian's plan "has a slightly sinister feel about it. Liv's wising up in her late twenties." But because "Babineaux knows," Liv has a new confidante to figure this out.
Which side is Liv on? "A lot of season three is going to be about Liv figuring out the answer to that question," Thomas teases.
Anders enjoys the variety Blaine's amnesia plot has given him, but laments the loss of bad boy Blaine. "It's castrating...but it's fun getting to know this new Blaine as he comes."
When Ruggiero-Wright and Thomas write, first they figure out the arc of a season, then fill in the blanks. Meaning, they know the climax for season three now. But they're not sharing it. For now, just know Liv will be pushed to pick a side this season: Team Z or Team Humanity.
Good news for Liv fans: Liv's next love interest "will not be killed off." McIver has been promised. Anders quips, "Liv's a real great lay if you're into dying."
Where will the love triangle go? Well, Ravi's just learned that Blaine and Peyton have a history. So, that's going to be a bump in the road. But Michalka doesn't want to pick, admitting, "I like both. Can't we just make it anopen relationship?"
"I think Rahul cares more about this trio than Ravi does," McIver laughs. She tells a story of how Kohli literally fell all over himself to help Michalka when SDCC's demands were killing her feet. He offered to carry her. Kohli replied, "I'm method! I'm method."
Michalka's upgrade to season regular means Peyton will be added to the comic-styled opening credits. Also, "iZombie" will take a cue from "Law and Order," where one episode will follow Liv and Babineaux tracking down the killer, and the next will follow Peyton's prosecution.
"I really want Ben Kingsley as Ravi's dad," Kohli admits, throwing out his own dreamcasting. McIver counters, "I want Bill Murray to be Liv's dad." But a "little bit of Ravi's past will walk into the morgue," Thomas admits, adding it will be the woman who fired Ravi from the CDC before he came to work in the morgue.
True to his bad boy character, Anders calls out "Malcatraz" for playing "iZombie"s biggest "Game of Thrones" fan, Goodwin has never seen the show. (He has seen an episode.) Anders then led the cast in the chanting of "Shame! Shame! Shame!" Thomas also teases we'll get a bit more background on Babineaux in season three, perhaps even how the detective became such an intense "Thrones" fan. But will Dale return, and heal his broken heart? "We'll see," Goodwin smiled.
What's next for Blaine's dad Angus? Thomas begins, "(He) will be back for season three. We see him in the first episode. We find him frozen--" Anders cuts in with a song, "Papa can you freeze me!" Thomas laughs, and admits Blaine has literally put his dad on ice. Blaine will try to piece back together his own memories, perhaps his ice pop will help?
Vivian won't only be a baddie. She'll be a mentor figure to Liv. After all, she's a in-control woman and zombie who suffers no fools, and knows how to fight for what she wants.
If you thought the exotic dance zombie brain made for a spicy ep, hold onto your handcuffs. Season three will see Liv as a dominatrix. "I'm just going to have to clear my browser history," McIver jokes of her research.
"I'd like to eat Rob's brains to know when Blaine's going to die. Because it's coming." Anders smiles, "I didn't think I'd make it through two seasons!" Thomas laughs, "I didn't think he would either!"
So the video presentation wasn't new footage (apologies for my leap to conclusions!) Season three doesn't start production for a few more days. But even without new footage, it's great to see team iZ back in the saddle and on stage. The energy and camaraderie is vibrant and contagious. And the audience keeps erupting in hoots and cheers.
Minor will not be back in season three, but Ruggiero-Wright assures us the lovable hound is fine. He's back with his owner, now unfrozen and happily reunited. It's canon. It's just not in the show.
Ravi's shirtless scene in season two had Twitter buzzing, and crushes were born. Can we expect more skin in season three? Kohli says no. But Ruggiero-Wright suggests "full frontal." McIver teases, "Can we start a hashtag #fullfrontalforRavi?" (Get on it, Twitter.)
Eating brains are no fun, because they are mostly gelatin and hot sauce. But McIver refused to complain, not "wanting to be a diva on set." However, "The boys had to eat the brains and they were such babies about it." Goodwin admits he only had to do it for one scene, "On pizza. And I didn't eat pizza for a month after that."
The cure will continue to be a plot thread. But remember, if Ravi cures zombie-ism, the show is over. So expect more test runs, but little success and more devastating side effects.
"If you ever wonder why we don't do a musical episode. It's a two-word answer: Robert Buckley," Thomas teases. "Otherwise we'd be singing all the time." FYI: Kohli is "the best rapper on the show." This is agreed on by all. Meanwhile, Anders is pushing hard to loop "Hamilton" songs into "iZombie," which famously used "Les Miserables" number "One Day More" in the final moments of an ep last season. Anders promptly breaks into "You'll be Back" as women whoop!
How would you prepare brains? Kohli suggests in green curry. Michalka would go nachos. Thomas votes deep-fried.
Season two finale Liv, complete with riot gear, dismembered hand, and brain takes to the mic to ask if Natalie, the zombie escort, will be found, as she was missing from the Max Rager vaults. Thomas promises she will. Major's hunt for what happened to Natalie will be a major part of his arc next season.
Which Harry Potter house would you be? Team Gryffindor: McIver, Michalka, Ruggiero-Wright. Anders says he and Blaine would be Slytherin. Thomas goes Hufflepuff. Kohli admits he thought Gryffindor, but the sorting hat test told him Slytherin. Do with this what you will, Potterheads.
Liv gets a new wig for season three. But the Fillmore Graves team (Max Rager's new owner) will pressure her to pass as human. Tanning and hair-dying are big Vivian and her zombie minions. McIver won't give in. She admits Bowie music is Liv's personal anthems, because, "Embracing your inner freak and embracing that that's what's sexy and beautiful about you. So I don't want Liv to change."
Ruggiero-Wright and McIver speak about the importance of making Liv a true full-bodied character as opposed to some one-dimensional trope of girlfriend, or badass. She's far more complex. And she will continue to be, whatever brain she's nibbling on each week.
And that's it! Cheers and fans rushing the stage for quick pics, and we're out!
"iZombie" returns with season three in 2017.