EXCLUSIVE: After wrapping his fan-funded Veronica Mars movie, Rob Thomas is reuniting with the film’s co-writer Diane Ruggiero for a zombie drama series project based a DC property. The CW has put in development iZombie, which Thomas and Ruggiero will write based on the characters created by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred and published by DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint. iZombie, from Warner Bros TV and Rob Thomas Prods, is a supernatural crime procedural that centers on a med student-turned-zombie who takes a job in the coroner’s office to gain access to the brains she must reluctantly eat to maintain her humanity. But with each brain she consumes, she inherits the corpse’s memories, and with the help of her medical examiner boss and a police detective, she solves homicide cases in order to quiet the disturbing voices in her head. Thomas and Rugierro, who previously served as an exec producer on Thomas’ series Veronica Mars and Cupid, are executive producing with fellow frequent Thomas collaborators Danielle Stokdyk and Dan Etheridge.
Zombies cannot be hotter at the moment with AMC’s The Walking Dead shattering ratings records and Brad Pitt’s World War Z doing well in theaters recently. Additionally, there are three series projects about loved ones coming back from the dead: Babylon Fields at NBC, a remake of the hit French drama The Returned at A&E, and ABC’s midseason series Resurrection.
Warner Bros TV has been very aggressive developing and selling DC-themed series this season, including the Arrow spinoff The Flash, iZombie and Hourman at the CW, Gotham at Fox with Bruno Heller, and Constantine at NBC with Daniel Cerone and David S. Goyer. They join the recent influx of comic book-themed series including Arrow, Walking Dead, ABC’s Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the four Marvel series the company just sold to Netflix in a massive deal. This is the second high-profile sale for UTA-repped Thomas this season. He also has a drama inspired by Victor Hugo’s novel Les Misérables at Fox, with Graham Norris writing. WME-repped Ruggiero serves as a consulting producer on A&E’s Bates Motel.