On April 4, 2015, Rose and her iZomibe co-stars went to WonderCon! The convention was held Easter weekend at the Anaheim Convention Center. WonderCon is an annual comic book, science fiction, and film convention held in the San Francisco Bay Area (1987–2011), then – under the name WonderCon Anaheim – in Anaheim, California (2012–2015, 2017–), and WonderCon Los Angeles in 2016. The convention returned to the Anaheim Convention Center in 2017 after a one-year stint in Los Angeles. The convention was conceived by retailer John Barrett (a founder of the retail chain Comics and Comix) and originally held in the Oakland Convention Center. In 2003, it moved to San Francisco’s Moscone Center. The show’s original name was the Wonderful World of Comics Convention.
SATURDAY, APRIL 4
2:30 iZOMBIE Special Video Presentation and Q&A— iZOMBIE makes its WonderCon debut with a special video presentation, followed by a Q&A with series stars Rose McIver (Masters of Sex), Malcolm Goodwin (Breakout Kings), Rahul Kohli (newcomer from the UK), Robert Buckley (One Tree Hill) and David Anders (Once Upon a Time), as well as executive producers Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars) and Diane Ruggiero-Wright (Veronica Mars). From Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Spondoolie Productions and Warner Bros. Television and based upon characters created by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred, published by DC Entertainment’s Vertigo imprint.
What we learned
Rob Thomas describes iZombie as a “ZomComRomDram,” and says he jumped at the chance to make the next kickass female lead on the CW, to do the next Buffy or Veronica Mars. He originally was working on an epic post-apocalyptic zombie show called Death Valley, but scrapped it when he saw Frank Darabont was adapting The Walking Dead for AMC.
Diane Ruggiero-Wright had so much praise for the cast, saying that Rose is so multi-talented she can tackle any new challenge they throw at her each week. She just texts Rose and gets a yes, no matter whether it’s singing, dancing and even martial arts (she revealed Rose had previously suited up as a Power Ranger). She also praised Rahul for avoiding stereotypes in his role as a sort of nerdy doctor sidekick, promising a bit of romantic action for him. “We didn’t know that Ravi was going to be dreamy – on set they call him Hot Doc.”
On making changes from the comic:
Rob said they had to tweak Rose’s character a bit to provide the procedural drama. “In the comic, the main character is a grave digger. But it wouldn’t have given us a case of the week.” They also nixed a few additional supernatural elements that would have made the show feel like a full fledged monster univers, and he felt True Blood had already done that well.
Rahul chimed in that as a longtime fanboy of comics, he was concerned about being faithful to the source, but understands how deviations can work. He brought up Oldboy, which is based on a manga series, and how it took great liberties and is considered a great film, whereas The Watchmen, which was almost frame-by-frame faithful, was panned by many critics and fans. He assured fans the show has “the color and DNA of the comic.”
On the challenge of making the series:
Rose talked about the challenge of assuming new memories and talents of the brains she eats. “It’s part of what I love most about this character, but it’s a challenge to play with the humor and novelty of those and not overwhelm Liv’s personal journey that she’s on.”
Rose also revealed it’s a nearly two hour hair and makeup process to get her ready to play Liv.
On what we can expect in the coming episodes:
Both Rahul and Rose promised that their characters would have individual romance plots (not together).
David promised zombie Blaine would reveal more of his motivations and plans for a full-fledged zombie epidemic in Seattle, and that we’d meet his henchmen in upcoming episodes.
(Thank you to Alice Marvels for the recap!)
Check out our YouTube playlist with videos from the convention!