A good friend of mine pointed out this Jem (ha ha) on Rolling Stone: In short, Justin Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, G.I. Joe: Retaliation director, Jon M. Chu, and Paranormal Activity producer, Jason Blum, are crowdsourcing ideas and cast for a live-action version of Jem & the Holograms.
Like many 80s girls, I had a few Jem dolls, loved Synergy, and really loved the song She’s Got the Power, which is about Synergy, the magic computer that gave Jem and the Holograms their oh-so-rockin’ wardrobes. (And, yes, I did get all giddy and feel like a 10-year-old when I looked up the song and found it uploaded on YouTube.)
To be honest, I think I’d rather just watch the cartoon again.
Jem and the Holograms were cool, because they lived out a girl’s fantasy: you could have any wardrobe you wanted with a whispered command and pinch to an earring, and you could create an alter ego to be who you really wanted to be. (Oddly enough, I wonder if that’s where Hanna Montana was born.) But to have real people playing what were essentially punk rockers who got into many life-threatening situations…I dunno. I know they’re not looking to film a documentary, but making Jem a live-action movie isn’t really Jem.
When the Transformer franchise came out as movies, I was totally excited. The first one was tons of fun. The second one was okay. I didn’t even bother seeing the third one. The military and GM advertising stood out so much that I had lost any interest in the re-born franchise my 80s inner child had. (Plus, Optimus was dead for most of the second movie.)
On the flip side, there was a renewed Thundercats animated series in 2011. They had completely rewritten the storyline except for the main characters. It was excellent and definitely not for kids. The Wikipedia entry summarizes the plot nicely:
On the planet known as Third Earth, the cats have lived and thrived for generations in the kingdom of Thundera. However, one night the kingdom is attacked by the Lizard army, led by the evil sorcerer Mumm-Ra. With them, the lizards bring technology, a concept unfamiliar to the cats. Because of this, Thundera is destroyed, but a small band of surviving Thunderians, led by the young heir to the throne, Lion-O (who wields the powerful Sword of Omens), flee the destroyed city, in order to seek out the Book of Omens, which is said to have the knowledge needed to defeat Mumm-Ra. Once they find it, the ThunderCats realize that in order for them to defeat Mumm-Ra, they must unite all the different species living on Third Earth. The ThunderCats also find out that they have to find three stones of power which, if found by Mumm-Ra, will give him power to become the most powerful being in the universe.
It unfortunately didn’t last more than one season and clearly won’t be in movie theatres anytime soon.
Remakes are risky: they can hit big, like Transformers, or they can flop, like Footloose, Fame, and a bunch of others I didn’t even know had come out. Do you remember when the reverse happened to Dirty Dancing? They tried making a TV series out of it with different actors. Didn’t work either.
I’ll likely see this in theatres when (and if) it does come out. But I’m a bit skeptical. What about you? What’s your take on 80s remakes?