Jem and the Holograms is a live-action remake of the 1980’s candy-colored cartoon of the same name and was made with a new and modern generation in mind. That contemporariness especially shows in an exclusive clip from the film (due Oct. 23) where girl-next-door Jerrica Benton (Nashville’s Aubrey Peeples) breaks the internet as her singer-songwriter alter ego, Jem.
In the scene (below), Jerrica and her sisters — Kimber (Stefanie Scott), Shana (Aurora Perrineau), and Aja (Hayley Kiyoko) — watch an interview with Starlight Music records executive Erica Raymond (Juliette Lewis), who announces that the unknown singing sensation named Jem has become hugely popular literally overnight after a YouTube video of her singing is posted online. The girls are ecstatic… all except Jerrica.
There’s more where Jem’s wildly popular and widely shared video came from. “You can expect a lot of themes about social media because it’s so present today,” Peeples says of the film, which later follows Jerrica and her rocking siblings through the ups and downs of superstardom. “It’s one of the main ways we made the themes more accessible to today’s culture.”
But director Jon M. Chu (Justin Bieber: Never Say Never) says that while the film takes Jem in to the modern age and that social media is certainly present, it’s all in how it’s used. “Living now as a young person is empowering because you have tools where you can not just create stuff, your own songs, your own dance videos, edit videos with drones or cell phones,” Chu explains, “but you can also get it out there, you can actually share it with the world.”
He adds: “We tried to really show in our movie that Jem represents those people. She’s one character in the sort of fabric of young people who are able to do that, and we get to follow her dream.”