Pop Culture

'Jem and the Holograms' trailer looks 'truly outrageous' (and unexpectedly deep)

Ever since news broke that 1980s cartoon "Jem" would be re-imagined as a live-action, modern-day movie, fans have generally lived somewhere between thrilled and wary. Would "Jem and the Holograms" be a campy musical fantasy, or something that took itself very seriously?

Well, as the first trailer from the Jon M. Chu-directed film seems to indicate, there's plenty of music, eye makeup and girl power ... but also an unexpected layer of depth.

Sure, Jerrica/Jem (Aubrey Peeples) is still in charge of the band, but her back story has been updated for the Internet age: She's discovered after a video of her singing goes bananas on YouTube. Up pop both boyfriend Rio (Ryan Guzman) and a cynical music industry expert (Juliette Lewis as Erica Raymond — in the cartoon the character was a man named Eric).

Plus, there's supportive Mrs. Bailey, played by Molly Ringwald!

Guys. The trailer's up. #Jemthemovie

A post shared by Aubrey Peeples (@heypeeplesitsaubrey) on

Jem and her band are quickly caught up in the music whirlwind, but learn just as rapidly that the industry is about branding and packaging her — not supporting her music. That's a twist many wouldn't have expected from a film spawned from a cartoon, and may lend "Jem" real resonance.

MORE: See first photo from 'Jem and the Holograms' movie

And it brings new meaning to Jem's signature phrase (which does appear in the movie): "Showtime Synergy!"

"Jem and the Holograms" will be released on Oct. 23, 2015.

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