Remember The Rocketeer? Maybe, maybe not, but one thing’s for certain — it came out in the ’90s. You know what that means.
Disney’s slow-starting, now-beloved Art Deco adventure is being revived, but don’t call it a reboot. Disney is working on The Rocketeers, which is being written as a direct sequel to the original movie. The Hollywood Reporter has the story, which says that while we’ll be seeing someone new blasting off this time around, the story of the original won’t be forgotten.
The new movie is taking a page out of the Independence Day way-too-long-between-sequels playbook by setting the story several years after the events of the first. The Rocketeers will be set six years after the original, with Cliff Secord having gone missing while putting in time during World War II (presumably — the report says he was off fighting Nazis). The six-year gap would set The Rocketeers in 1944 or 1945, in the last years of World War II. That’s just late enough to bring the soon-to-be Cold War into things — apparently, an unfriendly rocket scientist wants to get a leg up on the space race by stealing jet pack plans (perhaps the new and improved model Peevy was thinking of at the end of the first movie?).
With Secord not around, a new hero needs to step up. While there have been no casting decisions made, the story is being written around a central black female character. Considering the lead role hasn’t been filled yet, it’s definitely too soon to say whether or not Billy Campbell will reprise his role as Secord, although given that the report specifically cites that he’s missing, we hope the implication is that he’ll make an appearance.
Sounds pretty cool so far, although recreating the magic of the original is going to be a big ask. The art deco style and the relatively gentle noir setting carved out a unique place in cinema history — a good way to become a cult classic is to be incomparable, and I don’t know what you’d compare The Rocketeer to. Trying to mimic that style doesn’t seem like it’s the answer, but there’s going to be a lot of pressure to do justice to the original, too. As usual, I don’t envy the cast and crew.
Speaking of the cast and crew, while nothing’s been announced for the former, we know a fair bit about the latter. Max Winkler and Matt Spicer are writing the screenplay, two relative newcomers who also worked together on Flower and Magic Camp, a couple of feature length movies still in production. The movie is being developed in-house by Disney, but is getting an interesting assist in the production department. Brigham Taylor, a co-producer on The Jungle Book, is attached to the project, but it wasn’t his idea. Unexpectedly, credit for that goes to the NBA’s Blake Griffin and the NFL’s Ryan Kalil, two very much still active professional sports players who have opened up a production house called Mortal Media as a little side business. According to The Hollywood Reporter, they were the ones who approached Taylor and got the ball rolling on The Rocketeers.
That’s all a long way of saying we have no idea if this is going to be good, but we’re going to hold out hope.
Via The Hollywood Reporter / Image source
This story was originally published at The Rocketeer is Getting a Sequel With a Black Woman in the Lead Role