It’s been a slow evolution, but between stalwarts like Supernatural and new hits like Arrow, The CW has become one of the best networks on television for genre fans — and this might be the most perfectly “CW-y” series ever.
Producer Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars) is prepping the new series iZombie, which is based on the DC/Vertigo comic of the same name. The series follows a young woman who just so happens to be a zombie, and when she eats brains, she sees visions of the deceased’s life. It looks like a mix of Veronica Mars, Warm Bodies and Supernatural — with tons of young, good-looking people, of course.
The series stars Rose McIver (Masters of Sex) as Liv, Malcolm Goodwin (Breakout Kings) as Clive Babineaux, newcomer Rahul Kohli as Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti, Robert Buckley (One Tree Hill) as Major Lilywhite and David Anders (Once Upon a Time) as Blaine DeBeers. The series will be executive-produced by Thomas and a bevy of Veronica Mars alums: Diane Ruggiero-Wright, Danielle Stokdyk and Dan Etheridge.
Check out the first full trailer for the series below, which should help tide us all over until the March 17 premiere date:
To coincide with the trailer release, Thomas chatted about the project during a session at the Television Critics Association. The trailer makes it obvious that we’ll see some changes from the comic canon, but Thomas seems adamant that they’ve managed to land on something that honors the spirit of the comic.
Check out some excerpts from Thomas' comments below:
“We didn't hew terribly close to the source material. In the comic, there's a whole monster universe … and we wanted to stay strictly zombie. We really needed a story engine. We wanted a case-of-the-week show. In the comic, the character is a grave digger. By making her an assistant medical examiner and putting her in the morgue, it gave us our case of the week that we wanted."
The center of the show is a zombie you can fall in love with. A zombie you want to date. We were calling the show ZILFs. It helped me a lot that Warm Bodies had made it out in the universe and there was an example of a zombie you fall in love with. It gave us the confidence to say a zombie can be a hero of our show.”
The studio has also released the full synopsis for the midseason launch:
Olivia “Liv” Moore was a rosy-cheeked, disciplined, over-achieving medical resident who had her life path completely mapped out…until the night she attended a party that unexpectedly turned into a zombie feeding frenzy. Now as one of the newly undead, Liv is doing her best to blend in and look as human as possible. Her appearance passes for “Goth,” with shockingly pale skin and nearly white hair, and her demeanor has gone from exuberant to exhausted.
The change in Liv is baffling to her former fiancé, Major, her mother, Eva, and her best friend and roommate, Peyton, who still has the high-energy, Type-A personality that Liv has completely abandoned. Despite her post-traumatic ennui, Liv has devised a clever way to resist her baser urges to devour fresh human brains – she’s taken a job in the Seattle coroner’s office. In this appropriately dead-end job, Liv can secretly snack on the brains of the many Jane and John Doe corpses that make a final stop in the morgue. Despite carefully covering her tracks, Liv’s brilliant but eccentric boss, Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti, discovers her secret and is surprisingly excited about the scientific possibilities. Dr. Ravi even helps Liv in her search for Blaine, the zombie responsible for her current undead status.
Even with her boss’ enthusiasm, Liv remains resigned to an eternity as a zombie without hope or purpose – until she realizes that with every brain she consumes, she retains a portion of that person’s memories. Liv suddenly begins to experience disturbing and often violent visions from the point of view of the murder victims. Much to the surprise of Dr. Ravi and homicide detective Clive Babineaux, Liv often has detailed knowledge of crime scenes and motives that she can’t easily explain. Posing as a psychic, she works with Detective Babineaux to investigate these crimes and discover who is responsible. It’s not the same as being alive again, but at least she can find purpose in her undead existence by helping Clive solve the murders of those who are indeed fully dead.