The Entergalactic Creative Team Shares How They Developed Kid Cudi’s Vision

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Adult animation is a genre that has yet to be fully embraced by the masses, but every now and then a gem of a story emerges whose quality cannot be denied. entergalacticthe new Netflix animated project from Scott Mescudi (AKA Kid Cudi) and Blackish creator Kenya Barris, is an example. Using songs from the artist’s eighth studio album of the same name, entergalactic tells the story of a romance between two black artists against the beautifully visualized backdrop of modern New York City.

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Mescudi voices Jabari, a comic artist looking for love, while Jessica Williams voices Meadow, a photographer with a big sight around the corner. The two meet cute in real life rather than online, and the love at first sight they share quickly turns into a real bond that helps underscore who they are as artists and individuals. entergalactic boasts an all-star cast in addition to its leads, including Ty Dolla $ign, Timothée Chalamet, Laura Harrier, Vanessa Hudgens, Jaden Smith, Keith David, Teyana Taylor, and Macaulay Culkin.

Related: The Best Visual Album Movies, According To IMDb

Screen Rant spoke with director Fletcher Moules and screenwriters Maurice Williams and Ian Edelman, who all served as executive producers on entergalacticon how they expanded the world of Kid Cudi songs to create a visual feast that pays homage to both New York and analog romance.


Entergalactic Talk EPs

Fletcher, when you first heard Kid Cudi’s songs, what images and vision of history came to mind?

Fletcher Mussels: That’s a good question. I think luckily I heard the songs for the first time after also hearing the outline of these guys and the fact that it was an artist living in today’s New York City . Having this narrative while listening to these songs was the piece of the puzzle I needed to start visualizing.

What I used to do was wander on my phone or ride my bike around Venice Beach where I live, and listen to the songs on repeat at night. And that’s how I started doing the first painting, thinking mainly of New York. And then from there, it was just a matter of scouring the internet for top artists around the world who could help visualize that.

The songs were so inspiring to all of us; the writing process focused a lot on them. Once we had that, it was a unique way of working. Starting with the music was just an amazing and emotional starting point.

Maurice, talking about the writing process, what were the conversations like with Scott and Kenya as you went back and forth about what was going to develop from the album?

Maurice Williams: She was such a beautiful [process]; it was really organically made. I know people probably often say that as an answer to the question, but it really was. Scott had the idea that he wanted to do something about his time in New York, and then threw it back to me and Ian, and it’s like, ‘The song he played for us is this thing…” We only started with two songs. Then it comes back to him, and he says, “I like what you did with it, but I want it to be like this.”

By the time we started the writers room it was very [collaborative]. Can’t praise Scott enough for his confidence and taste because what he did was he really left us [work]. He said, “Bring it back to me when it’s a story, when it’s something I can follow. You heard the music, let’s do it. And then it was really just sliding things very slightly to the left or very slightly to the right. But it was really a two-way ball, and once he was done playing, he was like, “Now go.” We felt good with what we were coming back to.

Ian, what do you think were the biggest changes to the script or the story between your debut and their evolution?

Ian Edelman: That’s a great question, and the process is really iterative. However, I have to be honest, not a ton of change.

Fletcher Moules: It’s the same with animation, in the sense that once you start scripting and visualizing footage, things start to change. But that doesn’t change the story; the story they wrote is on screen. On the contrary, there were times when we used animation in a way that cannot be achieved in live-action.

For example, there was an Aladdin-like moment these guys had in the storyline where they leave a party and then Jabari wants to show Meadow his take on New York and take him to a secret location. The song “In Love” is playing, and then just through the storyboarding process, we ask, “What’s the best way to use animation to express that?” These were just really visual changes to a story that was already there.

Maurice Williams: That’s absolutely true. I think I would say 95% of what was originally written is onscreen, except we changed the ending. We changed the ending quite late in the process.

Fletcher Moules: Yeah, in the original version, they’ll never see each other again. I am joking. [Everyone laughs]

Maurice Williams: The good thing is that there wasn’t much to change, because we managed to keep the story very simple and very tight. I think the only thing that really changed was the formatting and the way the story is told. This is the main.

Fletcher Moules: enhance the point of view using animation.

I loved the look of modern dating and how it changed over time, especially the inclusion of Stush. Who made this up, and the plot twist at the end that I won’t reveal?

Maurice Williams: It was a writers’ room joke, and the more we made the joke, the more we were like, “That’s actually a really interesting idea.”

The modern dating aspect was something that was really important to me. Before I started, I was flying back from New York and literally flying back to the development writers room with Ian. I was watching When Harry Met Sally, one of my favorite movies, on the plane. I just remember that feeling after it was over, that I always have every time it’s over – that’s what we try to do. We’re trying to do a time capsule for what it’s like to date New York right now. To really answer the question, “Is it possible to have an analog love affair in this digital age?” And that became the directive.

As with everything, you only know how fast you are going when something is stationary. So we’re going to have these two people who never talk on the phone; who never do anything [digital]. It’s all in person, so we have to show the other side of that.

Fletcher Moules: It’s a visual device, so we brought it into the world. When we create scenes, we can use Stush as a device to help carry the story. Whether it’s posters or bus stops, it’s a reaction to the characters’ emotional place in which they find themselves. It became a fun thing for us when we did it. “What’s a poster that relates to how the character is feeling right now?”

Ian Edelman: And just in baseball, Stush came up because one of the writers used it as an adjective. I think it’s Caribbean slang.

Maurice Williams: It’s West Indian slang for a stuck person.

Ian Edelman: “This person is shit.” And then we were like, “Oh, what’s a good…? It can’t be that! There’s no way we’re calling it Stush.” And then it continued.

About Entergalactic

Scott “Kid Cudi” Mescudi and Kenya Barris join forces to present the television event Entergalactic, an original, immersive and lively story about a young artist named Jabari – voiced by Mescudi – as he tries to balance love and Success. Finding the latter brings Jabari closer to the former, when moving into his dream apartment introduces him to his new neighbor, it-girl photographer Meadow – voiced by Jessica Williams. An explosion of art, music and fashion, Entergalactic is set in the only city that can handle all three: New York.

Check out our other interview with entergalactic executive producers Karina Manashil and Dennis Cummings as well.

Next: 10 Movies That Feature Music Exclusively By A Popular Musician

entergalactic is now streaming on Netflix.

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