Sneak peek: ‘Jem’ gets outrageous reboot

A female rocker from the 1980s is getting a modern makeover but is still truly outrageous.

The new live-action Jem and the Holograms movie (in theaters Oct. 23) brings the glam and glitter of the 1985-88 musical cartoon — and Hasbro doll line — that little girls were wowed by 30 years ago while also creating a new coming-of-age origin story for the YouTube generation.

Director Jon M. Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation) says the film is much bigger than the rise of young Jerrica Benton (Nashville’s Aubrey Peeples) as a pink-haired pop princess.

“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?” he says. “That’s the real soul of the movie.”

Adds Peeples: “The whole thing is just quirky and cool and badass.”

The music is still contagious and Jem also throws in a hefty bit of ’80s nostalgia — and not just the frequent use of keytars. “Brat Pack” veteran Molly Ringwald even plays Aunt Bailey, the guardian of Jerrica, her sister Kimber (Stefanie Scott) and foster siblings Aja (Hayley Kiyoko) and Shana (Aurora Perrineau), who make up the Holograms group.

Jerrica is definitely a 21st-century sort of girl, Chu says. She’s shy and scared to use her voice after the death of her father, who taught her guitar and would call her “Jem,” yet still finds ways to make music even though she’s frightened of the stage.

However, her talent is discovered and even though she doesn’t want to be “out there” as a musical superstar, Jerrica is forced to embrace the over-the-top Jem alter ego in order to take care of her family and bandmates, says Peeples. “She never wanted to pursue the big costumes, lots of makeup, all that stuff. But in a way it helps her hide and have the confidence to come out and be this persona.”

Still, Chu adds, Jerrica worries that people will judge her because she doesn’t see herself as Jem. “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.”

Ryan Guzman co-stars as the love interest Rio, while Juliette Lewis is the film’s chief antagonist Erica Raymond, a Starlight Music record executive and the kind of person “tempting you with everything you really do want and need deep down somewhere in your dark place,” says Chu.

The director is incorporating fans’ contributions into the movie, asking them to submit performance videos and sing the praises of the old cartoon for use as a sort of “crowdsourced Greek chorus.”

Produced by microbudget filmmaker Jason Blum and Justin Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun, whose contacts Chu raided to commission original songs for the movie, Jem was a hard property to tackle, Chu acknowledges. For every fan of the retro cartoon’s random music videos, villainous punk-rock Misfits and hologram-with-a-headband Synergy, there’s somebody new who has no clue what Jem is or was.

The key for Chu was finding a way to explore the Jerrica/Jem dynamic in 2015. “How can you even have a secret identity with all this social media?” the director asks. “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.

“That’s what inspired me to say, ‘Let’s roll the dice and try to make this movie.’ ”

Original article from USAToday (view here)

Get a 1st good look at Max Steel’s cool alien costume

We’ve got a very first good look at the upcoming Max Steel live-action teen-turned-superhero sci-fi flick.

And it looks … not bad at all. Except, perhaps, for that weird thing going on in the chest area.

The folks over at Entertainment Weekly managed to snag some cool new stills from director Stewart Hendler’s (Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn) Max Steel flick.

An interesting bit of trivia: Max Steel actually started out as a Mattel action figure, which later became an animated series on Disney XD.

The live-action reboot stars Ben Winchell (Necessary Roughness) as Max (Twilight‘s Taylor Lautner had originally been cast in the role), Ana Villafañe (Hiding) as Sofia Martinez, Maria Bello (The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor) as Max’s mom Molly McGrath and Andy Garcia (Ocean’s Eleven) as Dr. Miles Edwards.
…view the original article posted here

‘Jem and the Holograms’ Movie Set for Oct. 2015 Release

Universal has set an Oct. 23, 2015 release date for its “Jem and the Holograms” movie, based on Hasbro’s cult 1980s animated series.

The musical fantasy reimagines Jem amid the current hyperlinked social media era in a story of a small-town girl going from underground video sensation to global superstar with her three sisters.

Jon M. Chu directed from Ryan Landels’ script with Aubrey Peeples as the lead. Stefanie Scott, Aurora Perrineau, Hayley Kiyoko, Ryan Guzman, Molly Ringwald and Juliette Lewis also star.

Producers are Chu, Jason Blum for Blumhouse Productions, Scooter Braun for SB Projects, Bennett Schneir, and Brian Goldner and Stephen Davis of Hasbro Studios.
…view original Variety article here

The film version of “Jem and the Holograms”

won’t hit theaters until Oct. 23, but Universal released the first photo of stars Hayley Kiyoko, Aubrey Peeples and Stefanie Scott performing as the titular band.

Peeples plays Jem, Kiyoko was cast as Aja and Scott appears as Jem’s sister, Kimber. Jon M. Chu directs and Ryan Guzman, Molly Ringwald and Juliette Lewis also star. The movie follows a similar plotline as the hit ’80s TV show… read more from the original article

Halo 4 Forward Unto Dawn: Composer Interview

How did you prepare for creating the score for Halo 4 Forward Unto Dawn?

Thankfully I had already spent many hours playing the Halo games over the years, so I was already quite familiar with the Halo universe. When working with director Stewart Hendler, he likes to bring me on at the script level so I can start formulating themes, motifs, iconic soundscapes, and colors based on my emotional response to the story. The most important element of my preparation is getting inspired –reading the script, discussions about the characters, the drama of the story, and seeing the early visual sketches and edits. I also watched some of the live action Halo commercials that had been done in the past to get an idea of what a live action Halo series might look like.
…read the rest of the article here