Buffered up by a huge fanbase and 80s nostalgia, Jem and the Holograms
is finally, finally getting a feature film. I am proud to admit I watched this show like crazy as a small child because I was awesome.
Jem and the Holograms is like a precursor to Hannah Montana, where instead of a wig disguising Miley Cyrus’s identity, Jerrica Benton has a complicated holographic projection system called Synergy that allows her to disguise her identity as Jem, thus becoming a rock superstar. Various plots involve Jem and the Holograms battling against their rival band, The Misfits, who were managed by embittered former label executive Eric Raymond, who used to control the record label that Jerrica took over. Jem and the Holograms also had a pack of orphans dubbed the Starlight Girls, because that meant they could make many more dolls (though I’m not sure if any of the orphans did have dolls! It was also a way to pump the cast full of diverse characters while keeping the main doll line white enough for good toy sales….) Let us never forget Stormer, the good member of the Misfits, and the only one who played the keytar (there was no keytar player in The Holograms, but I like the post title regardless.) Eventually the second rival band The Stingers popped up, and The Misfits often found themselves being forced to team up with Jem to take The Stingers down.
The biggest drama is the love triangle between Jerrica, Jem, and Rio Pacheco. Rio is sort of a jerk chasing after both women (unaware they are the same woman!) There were occasionally people trying to steal the Synergy system to do bad things, and Jem and the Holograms characters would occasionally cameo on GI Joe or Transformers because they were all animated by the same companies and reusing animation models is cheap!
This new version will be live action and produced by Jason Blum, Scooter Braun, and Jon M. Chu. They’ve released a video seeking fan ideas and inspiration and it looks like they are fully embracing social media engagement. I do notice that everyone involved so far is a dude. Maybe get a female director, guys? Because that would be truly outrageous.
UPDATE: Like right after I wrote this Variety came out with more info, Jon M. Chu IS directing, and the plot is:
Project will reimagine Jem for a hyperlinked social media age, the producers say, and revolve around an orphaned teenage girl who becomes an online recording sensation, she and her sisters embark on a music-driven scavenger hunt –- one that sends them on an adventure across Los Angeles in an attempt to unlock a final message left by her father.
As Scooter Braun is the guy who snagged Justin Bieber from YouTube fame, this sort of makes sense, but hopefully it comes together into something cooler than it sounds.