Your Tuesday nights are about to get epic again, Marshmallows. The first season of the brainssssssssssy new series from Rob Thomas is going to feature multiple Veronica Mars actors.
“A couple appear! Percy Daggs is in an episode. Ryan Hansen is in an episode,” Thomas told Cinefilles during a scrum after a panel for iZombie at the 2015 Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour on Sunday.
Thomas said he would love to “call in [more] favours” and bring in more Veronica Mars alums if he can as the season progresses. Yes, even Kristen Bell. “Kristen would be great,” he says. “As you’ve seen on Party Down, I will bring in my friends and people I trust for roles. So I’d like to see all of them!”
Although it doesn’t seem like iZombie, a series about a young woman (Rose McIver of Once Upon a Time and Masters of Sex) who becomes undead after a fatal boat ride, has too many similarities to Veronica Mars off the bat, it is a reincarnation of sorts. There is a voiceover that’s similar in style to the one Bell provided for three seasons of Veronica and that infamous movie. And McIver’s character, Liv, also works to solve crimes, using her ability to gain knowledge about dead people and the circumstances under which they were put in that state by eating their brains.
That said, as Thomas admits, there is a clear distinction between Veronica and Liv and not just when it comes to their colouring and taste in munchies.
“Veronica is hardened,” he explained during the iZombie panel on Sunday. “I always wanted us to at our best in those voiceovers strive for this Raymond Chandler-esque hard-boiled world view. I think Liv … is a naturally softer character.”
He continued, speaking to the TV Junkies during the scrum, “When I write [Veronica], I think of a porcupine. I think her spirit animal is a porcupine. And I think Liv is very sensitive. Everything sort of affects her.” (Side note: Thomas says Liv’s spirit animal might be Bell’s known favourite animal, a sloth.)
When it comes down to it, though, both iZombie and Veronica Mars are connected by something that’s even bigger than Bell and McIver altogether. And that something is Thomas’ clearly empowering take on female characters.
“It is funny that all of the shows that I do end up …. they would skew female,” he said in the scrum. “Well, Party Down might not have. But most of the shows that skew male on television, I’m not particularly interested in. And you know, when Warner Brothers came to us, they said, we want the new Veronica Mars, we want the new Buffy … So that was sort of the mandate off the top.”
Emily is covering the 2015 Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour live from the Huntington Langham Hotel from January 9 – 18. Tune in every day for new pieces and follow her tweets at @Cinefilles and @emilygagne.