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‘Steven Universe’ Turns 10: Creator Rebecca Sugar Talks Unseen Gems, Original Concept For Garnet’s Wedding And Possibility Of Series Revival

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‘Steven Universe’ Turns 10: Creator Rebecca Sugar Talks Unseen Gems, Original Concept for Garnet’s Wedding and Possibility of Series Revival

It has been ten years since Steven Universe, while enjoying the last of his cherished, sadly discontinued frozen delicacy Cookie Cat, gained his Gem power to conjure a shield.

Originally conceived as a vibrantly colored animated series about a thirteen-year-old child who is half-human and half-Gem and is fostered by three extraterrestrial guardians, Rebecca Sugar’s creation quickly expanded into much more. “Steven Universe” tackled a lot of terrain during its five seasons on Cartoon Network, covering topics like consent, grieving, PTSD, same-sex relationships, and genocide. This was a novel approach for a show aimed for boys aged six to eleven.

“Everything was really challenging. It was truly unfeasible at the time that we were investigating LGBTQIA+ characters and themes, according to Sugar. “We may not have explored everything we had hoped to, but I truly believe that we did,” the speaker said.

“It’s just such a time capsule of what it took to make this show over that period of time,” the woman says further. That’s why it holds so great meaning for me, and everything that was molded by that process serves as a constant reminder of my pride in what we managed to do.

In honor of “Steven Universe’s” tenth anniversary, Sugar talks with Variety about the first idea for Garnet’s wedding, undiscovered gems, and the potential for a show revival.

The creator also provides an exclusive preview of a song that was scrapped for the animated series. It’s dubbed the “Meatball Sub Song,” and it was previously performed by the creator during a “big meeting” while “Steven Universe” was still in the early stages of development.

“Cartoon Network Studios wanted a bunch of us to present some of the ideas we’d been working on because a bunch of international executives were in town,” Sugar remembers. “We would enter, perform our presentation, and pitch a brief scene. People laughed when I performed the song on my banjo ukulele after pitching it. They were prepared to make the presentation after I was silent for some time.

“It’s highly probable that this song made the show possible and propelled it to success,” Sugar says.

The Cartoon Network premiere of “Steven Universe” took place a decade ago. A decade later, what do you think about the first season?

The initial seasons are invariably quite captivating, as you have to learn everything from the beginning. We all learned how to draw the characters in shorthand as the show progressed. You’re under a lot of pressure during your first season because those in positions of authority are tremendously interested in seeing the show succeed. Furthermore, “Steven Universe” was intriguing because, theoretically, males aged six to eleven made up our target audience. One of our main objectives in creating the program was to transcend these restrictions and create something that would appeal to a far wider audience while still fulfilling our core demographic and our professions.

I remember having a difficult time negotiating the expectations of what would appeal to boys between the ages of six and eleven. It was my belief that boys between the ages of six and eleven should be given more credit because their perception of what was appropriate for them was limited to what they would watch and appreciate. I thought this show might be wonderful, and that was one of my first big pushes. There were worries that it would turn off our target group because it would need to have a particular edgy or hip appearance. Everything from the character’s hair to the color scheme we were selecting had dramatic, flowing lines. These were all things that were being examined. Will that be enough cool? Will that have a humorous appearance? It needs to be witty, hip, and kind of likable, but can this also be beautiful? Could it be stirring as well? Could it be dramatic as well? In Season 1, we were attempting to make it happen while also working through all of that.

Another point that is revealed much later in the episode and which you are not really aware of at first is that these various kinds of Gems shouldn’t be interacting. They come from wildly disparate backgrounds and social classes in Gem society. From the outset of the program, my goal was to assemble a cast that wouldn’t often work together on the same cartoon or project, and I wanted you to sense that. Thus, Pearl’s voice actor, Deedee Magno Hall, has stage experience and comes from a musical theater background. On “Barney,” Michaela Dietz, who plays Amethyst, was a dinosaur, and Estelle, who plays Garnet, is a global celebrity. Zach Callison, a young actor of exceptional talent, was the character’s age at the time of the film, thus there was a sense of realism about him. In addition, he was an incredibly gifted man who had a deep understanding of Steven’s character and was a really ambitious new voice. And I thought, “Yes, this is how I want all of these characters to balance out.”

I was quite fortunate that Estelle was, and still is, genuinely interested in animation and wanted to contribute to a piece of animation. Despite her global tour, she found time to visit the booth and record with us. I don’t know how much I’ve ever discussed it, but another awesome thing I believe is that a lot of the folks who were considered to portray the main four characters actually ended up playing different Gems in the show. Shelby Rabara was almost Garnet, but she turned out to be Peridot. And Jennifer Paz was almost Amethyst, before she was cast as Lapis. The voice of Ruby, Charlyne Yi, was originally substituted for Stevonnie. I thought that we needed to find a persona for someone when I had the opportunity to meet them and hear their incredibly distinctive voice. They simply stayed in my head forever. Sapphire’s actor Erica Luttrell was also on the verge of becoming Garnet. At that point, I thought, “Well, this was almost a Garnet voice, and she could still play a role in this story, so she could be a fantastic Sapphire.” That kind of thing happened a lot.

The song “Meatball Sub Song” originated from a concept board, also known as the shield board, which was intended for an episode that would air after the pilot but before to the first episode of the show. This is hilarious since, as we approach ten years, that would have been about the time it was discarded. Actually, since we were working on the program in both 2012 and 2011, it was definitely a year earlier than that. Thus, on the shield board, [Steven] is singing a song about wanting to be a meatball sub while hanging out at the car wash with his dad and washing cars with Greg.

Many tracks, particularly song drafts, were left out of the final production. You can view the earliest drafts of “Familiar,” which I wrote in multiple versions and still have some of lying around. Since I’m quite critical of myself and a bit of a perfectionist, I would frequently redo things multiple times. Numerous songs that were nearly finished ended up as small portions of songs that were originally intended to be full lengths in the finished version of the film. It was an early version of Bismuth’s song, and the line, “Happily we’ll face whatever comes our way, and after we might do it all again,” was its own song with that tune that I had been working on with [singer-songwriter] Gallant. That song was eventually cut to the cutting room floor, but this small tune was eventually incorporated into another song. To be honest, a lot of the episodes came about because we would have these crazy ideas that we would ultimately decide to put on the back burner and then come back to.

She was quite beneficial. It was incredibly frightening to compose her a song for the first time, and I wanted to do it well. She answered yes when I asked if it would be okay if I wrote her something for the play. I told her about “Stronger Than You,” a piece I had not yet written, and she provided me with invaluable advice. I asked her if she had any references or ideas about how something like that could sound, and she sent me a ton of ideas, which totally informed “Stronger Than You.” After that, every time I wrote her something, I would talk to her beforehand to see how she felt about that idea. I said, “I’m working on this song for Garnet’s character, and it’s going to be a love song, a fight song, and a victory song all at the same time.”

I informed her that I was planning to write a song about meditation. At the time, I was experiencing panic attacks, so I thought, “I want to create something that’s not slow and doesn’t ask you to slow down.” It is incredibly ineffective for someone to tell you to slow down or calm down when you’re in that situation. I couldn’t do it, at least not for me. When I stated, “I want to do something that’s calm, but fast,” she responded with a variety of ideas. Years after she emailed me something she had been working on, I got in touch with Emily King and we were able to use her voice for the “Steven Universe Future” end credits. She also introduced me to Emily King’s music, namely the album “Seven.”

One significant plot point that you intended to convey much earlier in the series is Garnet’s wedding. How much did you change the final tale from the storyboards you developed when the wedding was authorized for Season 5?

It was entirely distinct. The concept was first conceived as a single episode titled “If You Love Yourself So Much,” with the implied—and unsaid—part being, “Why don’t you marry yourself?” Garnet was going to wed herself, and at first, she was going to do it under her own name. She would only get to celebrate herself and get a chance to put a ring on each finger in a single episode.

When we realized we couldn’t pull it off at the moment, we began planning forward and attempting to figure out how to tell this story in a way that would be both most powerful and so intricately intertwined into the narrative that it couldn’t be separated. We had the option to either do it or not in this one episode about Garnet, which was the problem. Subtle implications of Sapphire and Ruby’s marriage from that point on would have been involved. Therefore, in order to make this event feel as climactic as it deserves to, we searched for some of the most powerful action sequences and the greatest musical pieces that we intended to perform.

It turned into a two-parter in “Reunited” and this lengthy build-up, and I’m really happy about it. I think the characters had a chance to develop and I love that we got to see their proposal and their time apart. In addition to having the chance to develop and face some things they hadn’t previously, Ruby and Sapphire also forced us to pose difficult questions about what it is about these characters that makes it so crucial for them to take on this challenge. What is changing in their relationship that calls for this to be the next step? Why are they interested in this, when it’s a very human custom? And we came to the odd realization that, in order for their time together to have fresh significance, they needed to be able to spend a little more time alone.

There were a lot more Off Colors in the past. I believe there are some sketches of them in the [“‘Steven Universe’: Art & Origins”] art book. However, they are really little. They would meet a lot more Off Colors early on, including two rather distinct ones dubbed Flint and Chert. Because they weren’t carrying out their assigned role of warring, the tranquil Quartzes were shunned by the Gem Society. Their interaction was akin to that of Little John and Robin Hood.

They struck me as being quite charming. Chert has a small bun and a gem of a nose, while Flint is slightly taller and has long, flowing hair. Then there was Ruby, who had prosthetic limbs. That was one of the Off Colors—a Ruby that aspired to be something other than a ruby and desired to grow taller. And those illustrations go all the way through many of the Off Color themes.

We were surprised by how many characters there were when we sat down to create these episodes. Simply put, it was going to be quite difficult to include so many people in one picture and still give them each their own moment of glory. Thus, we narrowed it down to the Rutile Twins, Padparadscha, Fluorite, and Rhodonite that are featured in the presentation. We were searching for other Quartzes that had rebelled, and Flint and Chert would have been there as well as a number of other Quartz concepts that we were circling. My sketches of a Milky Quartz never materialized.

That was another intricate conversation that took place in the writers’ room. The history of Lapis’s fusion is weighty and complex; it was a very trying time for her. At first, Peridot finds the idea of fusion to be extremely repulsive, partly because to her strong attachment to the Homeworld civilization, where such behavior is simply not acceptable. Fusion with Gems that are precisely like you is okay on Homeworld; however, fusing with someone who is different from you is extremely taboo in their world, in part because they don’t really think of Gems as unique individuals. They would therefore assume that the other Gem is a larger version of you if you fuse with another Gem of the same sort. I take it that this is the two of you coming together? The huge you is it. But that’s really unsuitable there for different kinds of Gems.

While we were talking about this, I had a really insightful conversation with a friend of mine who is aroace, or an asexual romantic. Because of the intricate backstories surrounding fusion, such as those of Lapis and Peridot, I came to the conclusion that it should also be completely acceptable for a character to not want to fuse. Since Peridot didn’t personally experience any difficulties with it, we wanted to make sure she did investigate the idea. In her instance, in particular. However, how would it appear if someone was at ease with the fact that they didn’t want to do it? We also intended to feature that on the program. Not everyone needs to wait for a connection, whether it’s a partnership in which they can lose themselves or in which they can discover a need within themselves. It’s also possible to recognize that’s not anything you require. Yes, we did have lengthy conversations regarding how to deal with those characters.

Will there ever be a “Steven Universe” resurrection or spinoff? It’s been three years since the epilogue series “Steven Universe Future” concluded, and you recently worked on “Fionna and Cake,” an Adventure Time spinoff.

I would be delighted to investigate that, therefore I would really, really appreciate it if everyone who would be interested in something similar would make a lot of noise and make it really known. In the current media environment, I believe that anything becomes impossible to ignore if there is a significant level of public demand.

I would love to go back to this planet because I adore these characters as well. And if everyone else has the same thoughts as me, maybe I’ll get a chance to act in that way.

I know these individuals in this universe quite well, and I’m curious in learning more about all the fascinating things that lie ahead for them as well as the facets of their personalities that they’re still figuring out.

It’s difficult to respond because there are so many factors to consider. I also want to express my gratitude to the “Steven Universe” team, with whom I worked for eight years. They are the reason this universe is so exquisitely defined and these characters are so extraordinarily rich. If I had the chance to work with the characters again, they would truly take on a life of their own since even just our lore, our rules, and the significance behind why the characters are who they are are so rich.

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Kim Kardashian Reveals Her Secret Lip Tattoo On ‘The Kardashians’

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Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian helps plan hairstylist Chris Appleton’s Vegas wedding weekend, and the subject of tattoos comes up. In a twist no one saw coming, Kim, 43, has some shocking news to share with the world. In the November 9 episode of The Kardashians, Kim shows off her secret lip tattoo. Kim explains that she got the lip tattoo after hosting Saturday Night Live on October 9, 2021.

She pulls down her lip to show Chris the tattoo, which is a simple infinity symbol on the inside of her lower lip. Kim and all of her friends got matching tattoos after she made her SNL hosting debut. While her friends got the infinity symbol on their hands, Kim decided to get hers on her lip!

Kim hosting SNL in 2021 has proven to be one of the most memorable nights for the reality star. That’s the night her romance with Pete Davidson first sparked. Kim and Pete dated from October 2021 to August 2022. While they were dating, Pete got “my girl is a lawyer” tattooed near his collarbone and “Kim” inked on his chest.

Kim Kardashian at the 2023 CFDA Fashion Awards. (Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock)

Kim also reveals videos she took of the night she got her lip tattoo. La La Anthony was by Kim’s side and holding her legs as the tattoo artist inked up Kim’s lip. “I finally put a bumper sticker on a Bentley,” Kim says to Chris.

The SKIMS founder admits that “no one knows” about her tattoo, and she even forgets about it most of the time. Kim does admit that she’ll sometimes freak out when she sees the black ink on her lip when she’s flossing her teeth.

Back in 2009, Kim famously talked about her lack of ink during an interview on The Wendy Williams Show. When Wendy Williams asked Kim about having no tattoos, Kim replied, “Honey, would you put a bumper sticker on a Bentley?” Well, times have certainly changed for Kimmy K!

Kim plans the most epic wedding weekend for her longtime hairstylist and Lukas Gage. She surprises them with a special Shania Twain performance and even officiates their ceremony. New episodes of The Kardashians premiere Thursdays on Hulu.

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‘The Golden Bachelor’s Faith Martin Was In A Rut Before Turning 60. Here, She Reveals What Changed

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Martin has vowed not to look back or wish she had her revelation sooner. She will not turn back, no matter what happens with Turner, 72. Rather, she’s accepting the lessons the challenging years have taught her.

“My face is covered in numerous scars. Although I haven’t been kind to myself, things are as they are,” she remarks. “I’m too busy right now enjoying life, working, and doing the things I love.” We feel happiest when we pursue our passions. Perhaps we also appear younger.

In the latest episode of Drop the Routine on Glamour, Martin shares her self-care routine, particularly in light of her experience with skin cancer. She also discusses her willingness to discuss injectables and her go-to moisturizer.

Since I developed skin cancer on my nose last year, sunscreen is the one thing I’ve become fervent about. Because of the divot that resulted from the biopsy on my nose, I always advise people to use sunscreen. Unfortunately, a lot of sunscreens have an odd fragrance, cover your face entirely in white, and make you appear strange. However, Superscreen Daily Moisturizer SPF 40 from Supergoop applies easily and transparently. I also use the tinted moisturizer with sunscreen from Supergoop!. After that, I just applied bronzer. I only use bronzer; I don’t use foundation.

Frank’s rosehip oil body as lotions frequently feel [too] thick on the skin. And I use coconut oil—the cooking kind—if I’m not using this. I simply grab the jug. I started using coconut oil since the thick lotions didn’t feel right and I would get dry patches while I was outside in the sun. I would simply grab some olive or coconut oil and apply it to myself. I also wrapped it around my cuticles. I always apply Nivea to my neck as well.

We frequently have the opportunity to perform endorsement-type work in radio, so I do advertisements for the New U Women’s Clinic & Aesthetics in Washington. In 2018, they requested that I do an AquaGold microchannel microinjector treatment. Your own blood platelets are extracted, and Botox and filler are also injected. They applied pressure to my entire body. And I promise that as soon as they completed that, I became aware of a change in the texture of my skin. Because I have complete faith in Dr. Rachel Fidino, I’m fine if she gives me a little prod here and there. Twice a year, I have Botox, specifically for the wrinkles that run between my eyebrows. You’re sitting there thinking to yourself, “Why am I poking myself and hurting my face with this?” However, after four days or so, you say, “Yes, I really love this.”

The New York Times best-selling book The Big Bang Theory: The Definitive, Inside Story of the Epic Hit Series was written by Jessica Radloff, senior West Coast editor for Glamour.

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Zac Efron Would Be ‘Honored’ To Play Matthew Perry In Biopic

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Matthew Perry Dead at 54 Ian Ziering Mira Sorvino and More Stars React 746
Zac Efron is hoping to pay tribute to his late co-star Matthew Perry in the future.

The fact that he is no longer with us still breaks my heart, 36-year-old Zac Efron said to Extra on Wednesday, November 8.

Perry wanted Efron to portray a younger version of him in a potential biopic, according to his friend Athenna Crosby, who made this revelation in an interview with ET Canada following the Friends alum’s passing.

“I felt incredibly honored. On Wednesday, Efron stated, “To do it would be extraordinary.” “We’ll observe the situation.”

Crosby claims that Perry stated he “was gonna ask [Efron] soon” about the potential part.

Following his death at the age of 54, actor Matthew Perry is being mourned by celebrities. Perry passed away on Saturday, October 28, apparently from drowning. After receiving a call about a person experiencing cardiac arrest, police reportedly discovered the actor unconscious in a bathtub at a Los Angeles residence. Ian Ziering, a collaborator with […]

Efron continued, “To think he was thinking of me for that role, I mean I would be honored to do it, to be honest,” in a separate interview with Entertainment Tonight on Wednesday.

“I had the best time of my life working with him,” Efron continued, referring to Perry as “the best guy in the world” and telling the publication.

In the 2009 film 17 Again, Efron portrayed Mike O’Donnell, Perry’s younger role.

On April 14, 2009, in Hollywood, Michelle Trachtenberg, Zac Efron, Leslie Mann, and Matthew Perry attend the film’s premiere. Getty Images/Kevin Winter

On October 28, Perry’s death was announced following what seemed to be a drowning at his Los Angeles residence. In a statement released on October 30, the Los Angeles Fire Department said that he was discovered “unconscious in a stand-alone jacuzzi.”

The statement went on, “Firefighters removed the man from the water upon their arrival after a bystander had brought his head above the water and gotten him to the edge.” Sadly, a quick medical examination found the individual had passed away before first responders could arrive.

Before a toxicology study is completed, Perry’s cause of death has not been disclosed.

Crosby exclusively told Us Weekly on November 1 that Perry “was in a good state of mind” prior to his death. In the final days before his passing, she spent time with the actor.

“He was quite happy to be hanging out and was talking the entire time. He was “talking about his life and sharing with me funny stories about his time in the industry,” she continued, calling it “great.”

After becoming well-known for playing Chandler Bing in the television series Friends, Matthew Perry never hesitated to talk openly about his personal troubles. For a period, when [fame] occurs, it’s similar to Disneyland. This sensation of “I’ve made it, I’m thrilled, there’s no problem in the world” lasted for me for almost eight months. [..]

He was talking about how happy he was to have a second act and how his acting goals had been hampered by problems, but he had overcome them all and was eager to get back into it full force, according to Crosby.

Along with having a great acting career, Perry was committed to supporting people who battled drug addiction.

“I don’t want Friends to be the first thing that people talk about when I die,” Perry stated in a November 2022 audio interview with Tom Power’s “Q.””I want to live the rest of my life proving that it should be the first thing mentioned.”

Our Matthew Perry-themed special issue is now available.

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