It's showtime for the first "Jem and the Holograms" trailer, which offers a 2 1/2-minute look at director Jon M. Chu's live-action adaptation of the 1980s animated series.
Fans of Hasbro's "truly outrageous" toon about a young woman masquerading as a pop star with the help of a holographic supercomputer will no doubt notice that the campiness of the original has been dialed down for the big screen, the better to focus on millennial angst in the social-media age.
Set for release Oct. 23 from Universal Pictures, "Jem" stars Aubrey Peeples as Jerrica, a shy but musically talented teen living "the most unexceptional life" with her sister (Stefanie Scott) and foster siblings (Hayley Kiyoko and Aurora Perrineau) — until a surreptitiously recorded video of her performing turns her into a viral sensation.
Made over and rechristened Jem by Juliette Lewis' unscrupulous record exec (is there any other kind in movies like this?), the starlet soon has to deal with the demands of newfound fame while staying true to herself and her sibling band mates (the titular Holograms).
Stardom, the girls are told, will require "changing the way you act, sound and look."
For all the trailer's focus on authenticity versus appearance, it's perhaps a bit ironic that "Jem" looks to depart significantly from its source material. Granted, the original cartoon was outlandish in many ways — Jerrica's alter ego was activated by high-tech earrings equipped with micro-projectors, for example — but the remake does raise an interesting question: What's the point of adapting something only to discard its signature elements?
At one point in the trailer, Jem laments, "The version of me that they want doesn't exist." Time will tell whether moviegoers feel the same way about "Jem and the Holograms."