Fans, Journalists Attack G.I. Joe Director's Live-Action Jem Reboot

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Fans, Journalists Attack G.I. Joe Director's Live-Action Jem Reboot

Plans for a new movie based on the doll/cartoon icon have drawn an unexpected explosion of criticism from fans, critics, bloggers and more.

Last week, G.I. Joe: Retaliation director John Chu, horror movie producer Jason Blum and Scooter Braun (the man who "discovered" Justin Beiber) launched a YouTube video announcing their intentions to crowd-source input and talent for their new project: A live-action reboot of 1980s all-girl rock-band/adventure cartoon Jem. But instead of the fandom joy-eruption they might've expected, the filmmakers have instead been met with apprehension and outrage (truly.)

First, Moviefone's Jenni Miller reported that Christy Marx, who created the character, had been "shut out" of the project until the deal was already done. On her own Facebook page, Marx voiced support for Chu but lamented the lack of a female voice among the filmmakers. After it was revealed on Friday that the film was shockingly only three weeks away from shooting, influential pop-culture writers from io9's Meredith Woerner to Badass Digest's Meredith Borders joined the chorus of dissenting fans; arguing that a character considered to be a rare positive female role-model of the era deserved better than what seems to be planned for her.

Running 65 episodes from 1985 to 1988 and based on a line of dolls from Hasbro, Jem was a unique animated hybrid of soap-opera, rock music and superheroics noted for being one of the few "girls cartoons" of the era with a focus on action and mystery stories. The lead character was a young female record executive who used holograms generated by a sentient supercomputer to masquerade as her own most popular act, the flamboyant musician/adventurer "Jem" (so, Iron Man meets Hannah Montana.) Chu, Blum and Braun have promised a 21st century "reimagining" involving a teenaged orphan who becomes an internet musical-sensation.

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this is shitty...I mean you know her not being a part and all

also before anyone starts lamenting this as the worst thing since twilight (as well all know pre teen and teen girls are the literal heralds of the apocolypse)....tell me GI joe, transformers or TMNT is any less dumb with a straight face...c'mon

Vault101:
also before anyone starts lamenting this as the worst thing since twilight (as well all know pre teen and teen girls are the literal heralds of the apocolypse)....tell me GI joe, transformers or TMNT is any less dumb with a straight face...c'mon

Yeah, but that had action. Which too is shallow, but at least entertaining. What did Jem have?

All I remember from this show was that stupid groupie girl that kept getting captured by the Misfits. Just as with Beverly Hills Teens, it was a show where the good guys always won and the bad guys always lost, and nothing happened in between.

Well, I did not see this one coming. Neither a film deal on this particular thing nor the outrage about it. True, I never watched the cartoon, but honestly, the GI joe films were about as good as you're gonna get from a load of eighties toys/PSA sources, I mean, it was brilliantly stupid, if nothing else, it shouldn't be completely unbeara-

Chu, Blum and Braun have promised a 21st century "reimagining" involving a teenaged orphan who becomes an internet musical-sensation.

My god.

CALL THE UN, CALL NATO, CALL FUCKING GI JOE, CALL EVERYBODY WHO MAY BE ABLE TO STOP THIS HAPPENING.

Casual Shinji:
Yeah, but that had action. Which too is shallow, but at least entertaining. What did Jem have?

it was....entertaining?

All I remember from this show was that stupid groupie girl that kept getting captured by the Misfits. Just as with Beverly Hills Teens, it was a show where the good guys always won and the bad guys always lost, and nothing happened in between.

...pretty much every kids show ever

I'm not defending the inherent quality of the source material, I am saying that people will sneer at this kind of thing but looking back at the source material of their childhood fixations...its pot kettle black

Doclector:

CALL THE UN, CALL NATO, CALL FUCKING GI JOE, CALL EVERYBODY WHO MAY BE ABLE TO STOP THIS HAPPENING.

see? see there it is....I knew someone would do it....

Waas "truly outrageous" really necessary in the title?

MovieBob:
(so, Iron Man meets Hannah Montana.)

Thats a mental image I really didn't need. My dreams are going to be wierd tonight.

Vault101:

Doclector:

CALL THE UN, CALL NATO, CALL FUCKING GI JOE, CALL EVERYBODY WHO MAY BE ABLE TO STOP THIS HAPPENING.

see? see there it is....I knew someone would do it....

Hey, that's out of context. I was just about ready to let it happen, until they basically revealed it as a gender-switched justin beiber biopic. Hell, GI joe isn't even really part of MY childhood, that was action man. I only watched the movie because I was bored and it was on netflix.

Chu, Blum and Braun have promised a 21st century "reimagining" involving a teenaged orphan who becomes an internet musical-sensation.

Well, that explains it. They had this idea and just looked for something that already existed so they could call it a reboot. How very modern.

I remember that cartoon really well. I used to watch it in the '80's because it was so amazingly bad. The animation was horrible, the dialogue and plot were idiotic, and the fashion was, well, 1980's. I thought at the time that it had been written by a twelve year old. I find it equally amusing that anyone would think it deserved this remake, and that people are upset about it's "treatment". I think if the movie ends up as a stinking pile of dung, it'll do Jem justice.

Vault101:

Casual Shinji:
Yeah, but that had action. Which too is shallow, but at least entertaining. What did Jem have?

it was....entertaining?

All I remember from this show was that stupid groupie girl that kept getting captured by the Misfits. Just as with Beverly Hills Teens, it was a show where the good guys always won and the bad guys always lost, and nothing happened in between.

...pretty much every kids show ever

I'm not defending the inherent quality of the source material, I am saying that people will sneer at this kind of thing but looking back at the source material of their childhood fixations...its pot kettle black.

Well, it depends which ones you watched. Shows like Mask, Dinobots, and Bravestar were exactly that; uneventful shit. But TMNT had nice character, humor, and adventure to it. And with many of these shows it was generally the concept that spoke to your imagination the most, like Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors or Thunder Cats. Even if the episodes themselves were kinda eh, just the idea of the show was enough to draw you in.

This is why I think people are more behind the idea of a movie version of those shows, than one about a glamy girl band that does... something.

Doclector:

Vault101:

Doclector:

CALL THE UN, CALL NATO, CALL FUCKING GI JOE, CALL EVERYBODY WHO MAY BE ABLE TO STOP THIS HAPPENING.

see? see there it is....I knew someone would do it....

Hey, that's out of context. I was just about ready to let it happen, until they basically revealed it as a gender-switched justin beiber biopic. Hell, GI joe isn't even really part of MY childhood, that was action man. I only watched the movie because I was bored and it was on netflix.

Action man was the greatest hero of them all.

I can see the quirky hipster best friend giving a nod to the show now... peering over her thick framed sunglasses she says: "Well that is TRULY outrageous!"

tbh this is the sort of source material that I think would be great if they went 100% wacky with it like a scott pilgrim kind of approach.

This sounds like it could almost be a drama.

Casual Shinji:

it was a show where the good guys always won and the bad guys always lost, and nothing happened in between.

So it's basically the same as every kids cartoon from the era? Vault just said that! You have a funny way of agreeing with people.

OT: It's pretty shitty of them to block out the creator like that and going by the "re-imagining blah blah orphan blah" they're set to take the usual Hollywood dump on it.

This...doesn't make any sense at all.

I grew up with 80's cartoons, but Jem doesn't ring a bell. And if even folks from that period can hardly remember it, who is this flick aimed at? The plot sounds like a generic Disney Channel movie and I haven't heard of a reboot of the toy line either. Little girls these days have Barbie, Monster High and god knows what, they don't really need movies based on 80's dolls.

Unless the writers realize what bullshit they're stuck with and turn this into a tongue-in-cheek parody of movies based on toys (one can dream...), I see a box office bomb the size of a tactical nuke incoming...

I briefly remember a Jem trailer being on the beginning of one of my Transformers VHS' (VHS!!!!) and I skipped through it then. Something about being a six year old boy and seeing lots of pink and big hair didn't quite cement the show into my interest pile.

Than again, I've never watched the show, I don't know anything about the show, this is the first I've heard of this show since I watched said Transformers VHS. If they make a movie then I'll just not go and see it, like I do with all the other movies that don't grab my attention.

Ummm, well I can understand the outrage. Seems to me that they wanted to liberalize the entire idea, after all especially nowadays you can't have an "Corporate CEO" especially from the music industry (a favorite target) being a hero. Having Jem be an orphan/internet celebrity kind of defeats the purpose since a big part of the idea was the scale she operated on. Jem as a somewhat less violent alternative to Iron Man or perhaps Batman (given the level of villains and the occasional focus on Batman being "The world's greatest detective"). Indeed the whole point of her brother, the show's main villain and her equivalent to "The Joker" or "Lex Luthor", was that he was after her business, and ultimately control of "Synergy" which was the super-computer Jem drew her holographic/illusion based powers from.

*THAT* said, doing a reboot of Jem nowadays would be difficult simply because Holographic technology isn't quite as "outrageous" as it once was, even if this show took it to a whole new level. To really stand out you'd have to bring it to the level of say "Star Trek: Voyager" at least. What's more the whole "Glam Rock" thing isn't as big anymore and that makes that sort of stage persona difficult to pull off, really it seems Horrorcore like "Gwar", or "Lordi" and a few throwbacks like "KISS" are the only places you really see the elaborate costuming and makeup (and with an entirely different intent).

A "Jem" reboot isn't entirely out of the question, but it would take a lot of work since it was pretty much a product of the times. What's more it would need to be done respectfully, if your going to say have it be some orphan on the internet, what's the point of even using the Jem license?

My suggestion if they were doing this would be to actually set the movie in the mid-late 80s (retro), or in the near future with updated technology and a hypothetical resurgence of "old school" Glam Rock and Punk, which wouldn't be as hard a sell for the near future since "Cyberpunk" is already popular and battling corporations fit right into it.

I had the misfortune of watching the Spice Girls movie. Google it if you must, but don't watch it. It was essentially a 90 minute music video. I don't recall if it was actually 90 minutes, it was impossible to maintain any level of concentration. I was going somewhere with this. The Jem movie will be like the Speed Racer movie, but with pastel colours instead of the strong reds and blues, and no doubt be just as compelling.

I don't remember much about Jem, but I don't think the director of GI Joe Retribution and a guy who produces horror films are the most qualified to reboot it. Also shutting out the original creator is never a good sign.

It wouldn't surprise me of Hasbro screwed this up like they have with their other properties (Transformers, Bratz, G.I. Joe is debatable). To me, this is only something you can set in the 80's. Bringing it to modern times would just be a replica of Hannah Montana. Besides, I need all that glorious 80's cheese.

I don't like the idea of a Jem movie where the original creator is left completely out of the loop but I think it's still an IP that's worth adapting. They couldn't possibly ruin it as badly as trans-

MovieBob:
Chu, Blum and Braun have promised a 21st century "reimagining" involving a teenaged orphan who becomes an internet musical-sensation.

ABORT MISSION! JESUS CHRIST! ABORT! ABORT!

Mark my words now, this will spawn the newest generation of Bronies.

It will be.....odd.

Andrew Siribohdi:
It wouldn't surprise me of Hasbro screwed this up like they have with their other properties (Transformers, Bratz, G.I. Joe is debatable). To me, this is only something you can set in the 80's. Bringing it to modern times would just be a replica of Hannah Montana. Besides, I need all that glorious 80's cheese.

You think they messed up Transformers? The entire Prime run was probably the most enjoyable transformers since Beast Wars and had some of the best lookin toys of the group. Especially compared to the fuck awful movie license toys. Seriously, why does RC have no legs. How do you even play with that? Stupid movie RC.

Wow. This is truly, truly, truly outrageous!

shintakie10:

Andrew Siribohdi:
It wouldn't surprise me of Hasbro screwed this up like they have with their other properties (Transformers, Bratz, G.I. Joe is debatable). To me, this is only something you can set in the 80's. Bringing it to modern times would just be a replica of Hannah Montana. Besides, I need all that glorious 80's cheese.

You think they messed up Transformers? The entire Prime run was probably the most enjoyable transformers since Beast Wars and had some of the best lookin toys of the group. Especially compared to the fuck awful movie license toys. Seriously, why does RC have no legs. How do you even play with that? Stupid movie RC.

Forgive me,I was a bit unclear. I meant them ruining the franchises through their movie properties.

The Hungry Samurai:
Mark my words now, this will spawn the newest generation of Bronies.

It will be.....odd.

Only if it's a genuinely good movie that manages to connect to audiences outside tween girls. People fail to realise that they've been trying for two years to make the next 'bronies' happen, and it hasn't, because most of the shows they are trying to do are crap.

MovieBob:
First, Moviefone's Jenni Miller reported that Christy Marx, who created the character, had been "shut out" of the project until the deal was already done.

MovieBob:
Chu, Blum and Braun have promised a 21st century "reimagining" involving a teenaged orphan who becomes an internet musical-sensation.

**opens mouth**

**closes mouth**

... fuck. Gem was a staple of my childhood. I should be thrilled about a reboot. Why did they have to go and ruin everything about it?!

Okay, remember how after Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull came out, South Park released an episode about Indiana Jones being repeatedly raped? That's kinda how this feels. Yes, that was over the top and hyperbolic as fuck, but... yeah.

Vault101:
also before anyone starts lamenting this as the worst thing since twilight (as well all know pre teen and teen girls are the literal heralds of the apocolypse)....tell me GI joe, transformers or TMNT is any less dumb with a straight face...c'mon

Huh? I think I'm missing something here. The reboot actually does kinda sound Twilight bad in that a strong female super hero of the 80s is being reduced to "a teenaged orphan who becomes an internet musical sensation". I think that the travesty above compares with other bad 80s cartoon reboots (like, say, Transformers) quite well.

Edit: Er, not that Twilight included a female superhero from the 80s. Just that the reduction of Jem's character feels as bad as some of the shit that Twilight pulled. Sorry about the above sentence being kinda confusing - I was having trouble expressing what I meant there.

It's hilarious how the producer kept firing that big plastic gun to reassure himself he's still a dudebro after being in constant proximity of such a girly IP.

MovieBob:
After it was revealed on Friday that the film was shockingly only three weeks away from shooting, influential pop-culture writers from io9's Meredith Woerner to Badass Digest's Meredith Borders joined the chorus of dissenting fans; arguing that a character considered to be a rare positive female role-model of the era deserved better than what seems to be planned for her.

So instead of being happy that the character is getting a movie at all they'd rather complain that it isn't good enough? Par for the course I guess but I'm just so tired of everyone on the internet being so whiny all the time. It's not that big a deal.

I only know about this show because of Taric from League of Legends.

An orphan that is a youtube singing sensation?

so, calling it Jem would just be a coincidence?

Geekeric:
I remember that cartoon really well. I used to watch it in the '80's because it was so amazingly bad. The animation was horrible, the dialogue and plot were idiotic, and the fashion was, well, 1980's. I thought at the time that it had been written by a twelve year old. I find it equally amusing that anyone would think it deserved this remake, and that people are upset about it's "treatment". I think if the movie ends up as a stinking pile of dung, it'll do Jem justice.

Damn it man, have you no imagination?

With the kind of animation technology we have today a reboot of something like Gem could be awesome. Think about it, some chick with holographic tech putting on rock concerts while solving mysteries and having adventures, all the while being followed by those dastardly Misfits trying to upstage/ruin her.

If the special effects are cool enough, if the music is actual fun and good and rocking enough, and if the misfits are cartoonishly evil enough, if the woman playing Gem can actually act, and if the script isn't shit then that could be a really enjoyable and fun movie.

It's a lot of ifs, but that's true for any movie. At least give the concept a chance. I mean I'm sure what they are going to make will turn out like any other shitty thing being made these days, but there is nothing wrong with the concept.

Vault101:
this is shitty...I mean you know her not being a part and all

also before anyone starts lamenting this as the worst thing since twilight (as well all know pre teen and teen girls are the literal heralds of the apocolypse)....tell me GI joe, transformers or TMNT is any less dumb with a straight face...c'mon

But those are aimed at boys, so it's okay.

I mostly wanted to respond to the main topic, though, and to do so by paraphrasing someone else. I was watching a Black Nerd Comedy video where he talks about TMNT and how even if it sucks, it doesn't matter. And one of the reasons for that is that media isn't what it used to be: once upon a time, before home video sales and the ubiquity (and fall) of DVD, when something got rebooted, reimagined or whatever, there was a serious risk of the original product going bye-bye. TV shows were taken off the air and didn't routinely have full VHS libraries. Now?

Well, if you really like Jem, there's the original still being sold. Don't like the new Ninja Turtles? There's an old one. I stopped caring about what Lucas did to Star Wars when I got my copy of the originals on DVD. Transformers? Literally pick your version. Nostalgia is such big business now, it's borderline insane to have a fit over a re-imagining.

However, I sometimes wonder what the hell goes on in the heads of the people who decide who's going to be in charge. For example....

canadamus_prime:
I don't remember much about Jem, but I don't think the director of GI Joe Retribution and a guy who produces horror films are the most qualified to reboot it. Also shutting out the original creator is never a good sign.

I don't know. I used to see ads for Jem all the time, and I thought "you know what this needs? Lots of guns and maybe a serial killer stalking promiscuous teens." Finally, Jem can be done properly!

But yeah, seriously, what the hell? Those are odd choices.

MovieBob:
Chu, Blum and Braun have promised a 21st century "reimagining" involving a teenaged orphan who becomes an internet musical-sensation.

....

No.

No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.

NO!

NO!

NO!

image

First off, making her an orphan COMPLETELY destroys the character of Jerrica and her alter ego Jem. If I remember correctly, Jerrica's father owned a recording study, passed away and left it to Jerrica to manage. Those associated with the company, recording artists, backers and the other executives, did not believe Jerrica could handle the company on her own and threatened to leave (thus destroying the studio) unless she booked the next big hit. Fearing a backlash from the other performers and backers should she step up to the mike, Jerrica (who was a talented musician) decides to use Synergy, a super-smart computer with the ability to create realistic holograms, to create "Jem"; a holographic overlay that changes her appearance so no one will recognize her when she performs. Jem is a hit, Jerrica is given control of the company and greedy Eric Raymond, who had been controlling the company during Jerrica's father's absence, is bummed from his seat of power and decides to win back control by creating a band more popular that Jem's, a punk-rock grunge style band called the Misfits.

... God, I'm such a geek...

Anyway, for an '80s TV show, "Jem" was ground breaking. It had strong female characters AND showed one of them in a position of power. Jerrica RAN her father's company after his death. She didn't hand it off to a board room of old men. SHE was the one in control of finding talent, setting up contracts, scheduling tours and a number of other things, though the TV show did tend to glaze over that in favor of the action/adventure life of a super-star.

Making her an orphan takes all that away from her. Making her a TEENAGER means you make her vulnerable and uninformed, easily manipulated (probably by a re-imagined Eric Raymond who has naive and star-struck Jem working with the Misfits before she finds her "Fairy God-computer", Synergy) and prone to making rash decisions. Making her an INTERNET SUPERSTAR is just insulting.

I have no problem with a live action Jem movie. I, however, would like the CREATOR and FANS involved. I don't care if the producers and directors are all male. I DO CARE if they are actual FANS of the show or if they're just squeezing another nostalgia fruit to make a pint of money-ade. The only reason I say that is because, usually, when producers say "re-imaged" it means they have never watched the show and probably never heard about it until one day two weeks ago while they were in the break room waiting for the microwave to pop their popcorn and some lackey they employ comes in and says "I just found all the old 'Jem' episodes on this really cool website. Spent my entire weekend watching it. That **** was awesome."

I don't really have much to add to the discussion since I was never really a fan of Jem, and most of what I would have said has been said, so...

But really, I hope this adaptation turns out well. If only for the fans sake.

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