This is not a joke: Justin Bieber's manager Scooter Braun, G.I. Joe: Retaliation director Jon M. Chu and Paranormal Activity producer Jason Blum announced via YouTube that they're working on a live action adaptation of the 80s rock and roll cartoon Jem and The Holograms. No idea what that is? Go Google it, search on YouTube – or ask your cool mom, Blum suggests.
The short version: Jem is the alter ego of Starlight Music owner/manager Jerrica Benton, who transforms into the rocker with the help of holographic computer Synergy. She and the Holograms must protect Synergy from evil-doers, like rival bands The Misfits – no, not those Misfits – and The Stingers. The cartoon was originally developed by the same team behind the original G.I. Joe, including Hasbro, which could explain how Chu got involved (he also directed Bieber's Believe and Never Say Never).
Not only is the live-action movie actually a thing, but the trio are crowdsourcing crucial elements from casting to costume design: "It's sort of like Kickstarter," Chu says, "but instead of asking for your money, we're asking for your creativity."
To start, they're asking fans to upload videos, photos or whatever Tumblr or YouTube with the hashtag "#JemTheMovie" to tell them what they love about the original Jem. They've also put out an open casting call, asking kids of any age or gender who can sing, dance and act to upload a two-minute video showcasing their talents.
"This is the real way we're making our movie," Chu says. "This is not a contest; this is actually how we're putting things together." There will be more "assignments" in coming weeks, with producers keeping fans up to date at the film's website.