Christy Marx, creator of Jem (1985), said she had no idea a film was going to be made, and was upset that Hasbro did not inform her about it.
Following a disappointing opening weekend of only $1.3 million, the worst opening ever for a major studio film in wide release (2,000+ theaters), Universal pulled the film after only two weeks. Before it was withdrawn, it had grossed just $2.2 million against an estimated budget of $5 million.
Jem's original voice actors, Samantha Newark and Britta Phillips (singing voice), make cameo appearances in the film, as a hairstylist and stage manager respectively.
When the film was originally announced, it was planned as an animation, but later, the decision was made to shoot it as a live-action film.
Rio's line, "Jem is glamour and glitter, fashion and fame," comes from the Jem (1985) series theme song.
For the concert sequences in the film, the majority of the extras were fans of the original Jem (1985), who were recruited for the film.
The guitar Jem uses in the concert sequence of the trailer is a Gibson model designed by former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist and Black Label Society frontman Zakk Wylde.
This marks Molly Ringwald's first appearance in a theatrically released motion picture in 14 years, following her cameo in Not Another Teen Movie (2001).
Jem mentions the term "showtime synergy." This phrase was used in Jem (1985) to activate the holograms that transformed Jerrica Benton into superstar Jem.
Aubrey Peeples was unfamiliar with Jem (1985), but became a fan of it during production.
Rio refers to Jem and the Holograms as "Little Miss Pink-hair and the sing-a-longs", a line used by Pizzazz in the original Jem (1985) series.
Director Jon M. Chu and the film's creative team gave the fans of the original Jem (1985) TV series a chance to participate in the film by filming themselves talking about how the show inspired them. Several fans sent in videos, with most of them showing off their Jem memorabilia. However, the filmmakers took the footage and edited it to make it look like the fans were talking about the film's version of Jem, sparking controversy and anger with original fans. The filmmakers defended this decision however, stating that it was a way to pay tribute to the fans and the original series while seamlessly incorporating it into the film's version of events.
Stefanie Scott and Hayley Kiyoko agreed to dye their hair orange and teal blue for their roles, while Aubrey Peeples and Aurora Perrineau wore pink and purple hair extensions and wigs.
Jem's star earrings are a component of Synergy, which enable a hologram to be projected. In Jem (1985), the earrings could project holograms, but were mostly only used to communicate with Synergy.
This is Jon M. Chu's second adaptation of a Hasbro property cartoon, after adapting G.I. Joe (1985) into G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013).
Ariana Grande and her manager Scooter Braun, who worked on the soundtrack, had cameos in the film as themselves at Starlight Enterprises that were deleted in post-production (they are included as a deleted scene on the DVD and Blu-ray).
Stefanie Scott and Hayley Kiyoko previously appeared together in Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015).
When the Holograms take Rio's jeep Aja is the one driving; in Jem (1985) Aja was a mechanic and driver.
The working title for this film was "Pink Pony." This is because Hasbro was interested in Sony Pictures co-financing this movie along with My Little Pony: The Movie (2017). Sony was more interested in the latter over the former, due to its larger fan base, so they dropped Jem. Unfortunately for Sony, the negotiations for the My Little Pony movie never held up.
Early drafts of the script included the holographic characters and atmosphere featured in the animated series, but these were removed from the final draft in favor of a more realistic approach.
Aurora Perrineau's younger sister, Wynter, plays the younger version of her character Shana.
If looking closely at the home screen of Kimber's laptop, one can see that it is a still image from the original animated series Jem (1985).
The Astral recording studio is named after Astral from the animated series. Astral was slated to appear in more episodes - a prototype doll of the character was even created - but Hasbro ultimately pulled the plug.
A YouTube video of musicians Rob Scallon and Bryan Bednarek is briefly featured but the former stated he has not seen the film though he allowed the filmmakers to use his video.
Australian model Doug Gardiner was a huge Jem (1985) fan growing up and traveled all the way from Oz to LA to be an extra in the film, he is standing next to Molly Ringwald during the final concert for the song "I'm Still Here".
Rio's car is based on the Rockin' Roadster, a coupe that served as Jem's personal transport in Jem (1985).
While it is not the first Hasbro property film to receive negative reviews, it was the first to bomb at the box office unlike the Transformers or G.I. Joe films.
Scooter Braun was brought in with only two weeks to write a whole new soundtrack as there were licensing issues with the original animated series that could not be resolved in such a short period of time before production began.
In one of the home videos of the girls as children, they can be seen playing with My Little Pony toys, the franchise of which is another brand from Hasbro.
Production manager and production assistant Marcei A. Brown and Sadey Paige Nifong make cameos in the film as a homeless woman at the pier next to the carnival and a concert goer respectively.