That icon of flashy ’80s fashion, Jerrica Benton a.k.a. Jem, is back in 2015 with a truly outrageous new look. As revealed in the latest Jem and the Holograms images, that involves studded leather, white fringe, lots of glitter, and… okay, on second thought, maybe Jem hasn’t really changed that much.
Aubrey Peeples plays the titular pop star, who struggles to stay true to herself as her music career blows up. Stefanie Scott, Hayley Kiyoko, and Aurora Perrineau play her bandmates and BFFs. Jon M. Chu directed and Jason Blum executive produced. See the new Jem and the Holograms pics after the jump.
USA Today unveiled the new Jem and the Holograms images.
Jem and the Holograms is based on the ’80s TV series, and Chu admits that he initially struggled to update her for the modern day:
How can you even have a secret identity with all this social media? […] But then it dawned on us: Wait, everybody has a secret identity. The idea of ‘Who are you really?’ is more relevant today than ever.
Chu further explains:
It’s actually about a group of young people who are going to be inundated with this idea of fame and fortune and products and stuff, and within all that, how do you stay true to who you really are? That’s the real soul of the movie.
More specifically, Jem and the Holograms follows a talented but shy musician named Jerrica who adopts the larger-than-life persona Jem. The glam image helps her career, but leaves her feeling ambivalent. “We see the transformation as she gets brought into it, getting seduced by it, and at the same time trying to find her real self in between those two identities, ” says Chu.
Major figures in Jerrica’s life include her sister Kimber (Scott), their foster sisters Aja (Kiyoko) and Shana (Perrineau), their guardian Aunt Bailey (Molly Ringwald), and Jerrica’s love interest Rio (Ryan Guzman). The villain is Erica Raymond (Juliette Lewis), a record exec who tempts Jem to the dark side.
Peeples describes the film as “quirky and cool and badass.” Among other things, Chu says it features a sort of “crowdsourced Greek chorus” of Jem fans who submitted material for the movie. There’s also, of course, a wild soundtrack. Justin Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun is among the executive producers, and he helped Chu get original songs for Jem.