Good news for everybody who wants a little more Rob Thomas in their lives! (Not Matchbox 20's Rob Thomas, don’t worry.) Two days after the Blu-ray/DVD release of his Kickstarted feature version of Veronica Mars, the CW has announced they’ve put in a series order for Thomas’ next project, the comic book adaptation iZombie. I guess I should have said it’s also good news for anyone who wants more televised zombie fiction.
But this is far from the post-apocalyptic mayhem of The Walking Dead, and undoubtedly features a lot more attractive youngsters. iZombie is a loose adaptation of the comic, from writer Chris Roberson and artist Michael Allred, and it centers on the strange life (or post-death, I guess) of Liv, a med student whose coroner’s office job is more to keep brains on her kitchen table rather than bread and butter. She is a sentient and intelligent zombie, and one who wants to keep everyone from her former life at bay. (In the comic, she was a gravedigger named Gwen.)
The synopsis given leaves a lot of the comic’s supernatural characters by the wayside, and it sounds as if they’re just shooting to make iZombie a hip comedic fantasy with procedural elements. Liv, her coroner boss, and a detective friend all try to solve the homicide cases for each the bodies that come through the doors. It helps their situation that every brain Liv eats gives her access to the deceased’s memories. I know I don’t consider a steak dinner a success until I know how the cow spent its last birthday.
There’s no sign of Ellie, Gwen’s ghostly best friend, or the werewolf Spot; as well, Thomas seems to be leaving out all of the vampire elements, which is strange, considering CW has been obsessed in recent years with these kinds of fantastical beings. Maybe they figured there were already too many vamps and hairy beasts running around their schedule.
Luckily, comic creator Roberson read the iZombie pilot’s script and gave it his approval on a recent Reddit AMA, saying “it seems like it will make for good television,” and that “the core concept is the same as our comic, but they’ve used it as the basis for a new character and situation.” Far be it for me to say the CW marginalizes interesting concepts to fit into their demographic, but I guess the world always needs solid female-fronted TV shows, and who better than Rob Thomas to bring one.
Liv will be played by Rose McIver (Once Upon a Time), whom Thomas hopes will be the next strong female lead that the CW is looking for. Other roles in the show will be filled by Robert Buckley (666 Park Avenue), Malcolm Goodwin (Breakout Kings), Alexandra Krosney (Last Man Standing), Jenna Berman (Motive), David Anders (The Vampire Diaries), Nora Dunn (Entourage) and more.
Stay tuned for more iZombie information – along with more about other new pickups The Flash, The Messengers and Jane the Virgin – once CW gets next week’s upfronts out of the way.