THE ROCKETEER Is Returning with a Disney+ Movie

Last year marked the 30th anniversary of The Rocketeer. A film which, as we have discussed, deserved so much better. The Disney film from director Joe Johnston debuted in 1991. Set in the late ’30s in Los Angeles, the movie told the story of stunt pilot Cliff Secord (Billy Campbell) and the rocket-powered jet pack he tried to use for the powers of good. And while it definitely should have launched a movie franchise back then, we’re getting more of The Rocketeer in the present. Finally. Deadline reports that Disney is bringing back that world with a new Disney+ Rocketeer movie. At one point, this reboot was called The Return of the Rocketeer, but it’s unclear whether that will remain the name going forward.

Regardless of the exact title, it’s nice to see the world of The Rocketeer get another chance on the big screen. The movie’s stars, Campbell and Jennifer Connelly, specifically had contracts for at least one sequel. But Disney scrapped plans for additional films after The Rocketeer‘s just-okay box office performance. We originally heard about this Rocketeer reboot in 2021 and not since, but finally, it has some kind of an update.

The Rocketeer salutes while flying in the sky.

Edward Ricourt (Now You See Me, Jessica Jones) was originally tapped to write the script. However, The Wrap recently reported that Eugene Ashe has come aboard as a writer as well. It’s unclear whether Ashe will engage with anything Ricourt wrote, or whether he will pen an entirely new script. Either way, we’re glad to see motion on the movie.

David and Jessica Oyelowo will produce the Rocketeer film under their Yoruba Saxon banner. Brigham Taylor will produce too, with Mortal Media executive producing. David Oyelowo (Selma, The Lion Guard) will star in the project as the titular Rocketeer.

Though Joe Johnston’s film (of Danny Bilson, Paul De Meo, and William Dear’s script) pulled from Dave Stevens’ Rocketeer comics, The Return of the Rocketeer will go a different route. According to Deadline, Ricourt’s story focuses “on a retired Tuskegee airman who takes up the mantle of the Rocketeer.” The Tuskegee Airmen, of course, served as the first Black aviators in the US Army Air Corps.

We don’t have further details about The Return of the Rocketeer‘s plot, cast, or filming at this time, but we’ll certainly keep you updated.

Originally published on August 30, 2021.

Amy Ratcliffe is the Managing Editor for Nerdist and the author of A Kid’s Guide to Fandom, available now. Follow her on  Twitter and Instagram.

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