By Zach Johnson
Not even a Z-band can temper our excitement for ZOMBIES 3!
It’s Addison and Zed’s final year at Seabrook High School and relations between humans and monsters have never been better. Zed is determined to win a football scholarship, but he’s feeling the pressure—not only because he would be the first zombie to ever attend college, opening the door for all monsters, but because he wants to enroll in Mountain College alongside Addison, who’s already been accepted.
“If he doesn’t go to college and Addison does, who knows what that means for their relationship?” Manheim asks D23. “We have a very cute little song that explores how they’re feeling about their relationship. It’s my favorite song in the movie and it was also my favorite number to shoot.” Elaborating on the school sweethearts’ dynamic, Donnelly says, “It’s really cool to see how mature Addison and Zed have become, because they have so much history and chemistry. They really love each other, but they’re worried about what might happen—even though nothing is actually wrong.”
“They’ve grown a lot together,” Manheim adds. “Now they’re at a fork in the road.”
It isn’t long before Addison and Zed realize there are multiple forks in the road. For one thing, Addison is still struggling with wanting to know who she is and where she comes from. For the time being, she’s keeping busy getting ready for the international cheer-off, which brings new group of outsiders—aliens—to Seabrook. “Zed has the same reaction to the aliens that he did with the werewolves [in ZOMBIES 2],” Manheim says. “He doesn’t know if they’re safe or why they’re here. He just wants to make sure that Addison is OK.” Terry Hu, Matt Cornett, and Kyra Tantao join the cast as A-Spen, A-lan, and A-li, respectively—a trio of super-smart, telepathic aliens who harbor a big secret. “Having the new cast members as a part of our team was amazing,” Manheim says. “They’re all amazing people and their characters add a completely new dynamic to the movie. It allows for some crazy songs and dances, I’ll tell you that.”
Seabrook begrudgingly allows the aliens to stay for the competition, but the humans and monsters grow suspicious when they discover that the aliens may be looking for more than a friendly competition. “The aliens are here on a secret mission,” Hu tells D23. “The aliens’ planet is not well anymore, so now they need to find a new home.”
To do that, they must find “the most precious thing in Seabrook.” The instructions are vague, Hu admits, and things only get more confusing “once the aliens turn off their emotional suppressors and get distracted by their own specific things in Seabrook.” Without spoiling what distracts them, Trevor Tordjman, who plays student body president Bucky, says he can’t wait for fans to see how the aliens interact with the humans and monsters. “They really mix it up in Seabrook,” he says. “It’s very exciting.”
As for the werewolves? “The wolves are fully integrated into Seabrook life,” says Chandler Kinney, who plays pack leader Willa. “They are loving it.” Since ZOMBIES 2, Wynter (Ariel Martin) joined the football team, and Wyatt (Pearce Joza) developed a crush on hacktivist zombie Eliza (Kylee Russell), who secured an internship with Z-Corp. One thing that hasn’t changed, though, is that humans and monsters alike are apt to break into song at any moment. “The new dance numbers are bigger and better,” Kinney tells D23. “Draico Johnson, our choreographer, took them to the next level.”
Don’t forget to stream ZOMBIES 3, debuting Friday, July 15, on Disney+. A special “Lost Song” version of the movie will premiere Friday, August 12, on Disney Channel.