If you grew up in the 80s, chances are you rocked out at least a few times to the “Jem” theme song. You probably even pretended your earrings could transform you from a high-powered businesswoman into an international rock star. If think pieces want to know why late Gen-X/early Millennial women think they can have it all, look no further than this cartoon. Why choose one career when you could have BOTH?

Capitalizing on the nostalgia boom currently in progress, Universal Pictures and Hasbro have teamed up to bring a live-action, updated Jem, Kimber, Aja, and Shana to the big screen.

Image Credit: IDW. Cover art by Ross Campbell, Amy Mebberson, and Sara Richard.


Haha, whoops! Just kidding. The above photo is actually from the fantastic new IDW comic by Kelly Thompson and Ross Campbell.

These are the actual official photos from Jem’s live-action reboot.

Image Credit: Universal Studios


Image Credit: Universal Studios


Image Credit: Universal Studios


That's...a lot of black pleather.

You can see more photos over at ComicBookMovie.com. They also had the official plot synopsis:

As a small-town girl catapults from underground video sensation to global superstar, she and her three sisters begin a one-in-a-million journey of discovering that some talents are too special to keep hidden. In Universal Pictures’ JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS, four aspiring musicians will take the world by storm when they see that the key to creating your own destiny lies in finding your own voice.

If you think that sounds painfully generic, you are not alone. Whether she’s moonlighting as a rock star (the 80s cartoon) or using advanced technology to overcome stage fright (current comic) the core concept of Jem is that she is a HOLOGRAM. The movie hasn’t once mentioned Synergy and there’s no sign of her over on IMDB. There’s nothing wrong with updating a property to package it to a new generation. For example, the villainous Eric Raymond who spent the 80s trying to take over Jerrica’s business is now Erica Raymond and played by Juliette Lewis. Totally cool.

Not cool? Gutting a property of its key components and rushing to production. When the producers behind Jem last year announced they’d be crowdsourcing ideas from the Internet for casting, costume design, and music there was a small murmur of concern from fans. That murmur turned to a shout when less than two weeks later, producer Jason Blum said filming would begin in three weeks. At that point a cast hadn’t even been announced.

So now we know. This is what happens when a movie studio takes a female-led property, created by a woman, and puts a team entirely of made up of men on it, shuts out the creator entirely, and shoves it through the production process. The result is Disney Channel Movie quality that could be any generic bargain basement tale of rags to riches.

“Jem and the Holograms” will be in theaters on October 23, 2015.


Mom. Wife. Geek. Gamer. Feminist. Writer. Sarcastic. Succinct. Donna has been writing snark for the Internet in one form or another for almost a decade. She has a lot of opinions, mostly on science-fiction, fantasy, feminism, and Sailor Moon. Follow her on Twitter (@MildlyAmused) for more of all these things.