A sequel to the cult film The Rocketeer is being developed by Disney and Selma star David Oyelowo.
The Rocketeer, based on the classic book series of the same name, was released in June 1991 by Disney and was a minor box office success but fell short of the studio’s expectations. However, it developed a cult following over time, and director Joe Johnston was able to work on another superhero era film, Captain America: The First Avenger, twenty years after The Rocketeer was released. Since the movie was well liked, Disney sees an opportunity to revive it, thus a new Rocketeer is in the works. This is a soft-reboot of the Rocketeer story. It’s even been dubbed Rocketeer 2.
Disney never completely abandoned The Rocketeer concept. While there never was an official sequel, Disney Junior did release an animated series called The Rocketeer that followed a young girl named Kit as she became the new Rocketeer. The series even featured Billy Campbell, the star of the 1991 film, as Kit’s father Dave and a cameo role as the original Rocketeer, Cliff Secord. The series was discontinued after one season, but the combination of the series and the film’s long impact demonstrates that The Rocketeer still has possibilities for Disney.
The Rocketeer 2: Is it Confirmed?
According to Deadline, Disney is working on a sequel called The Return of the Rocketeer, which will debut on Disney+. David and Jessia Oyelowo will produce the film, with the possibility of David Oyelowo starring in it. The script will be written by Ed Ricourt (Now You See Me), and it will follow a retired Tuskegee airman who takes on the character of the Rocketeer.
This isn’t the first time Disney has contemplated casting a Black lead in a Rocketeer film. In 2016, Disney was producing The Rocketeers, a film about a young African-American female pilot who discovers the original Rocketeers’ equipment. Matt Spicer and Max Winkler (Flower and Magic Camp) wrote the script, however it never got past the announcement stage and may have been changed into this current project.
The Return of the Rocketeer comes five years after it was announced that the Rocketeer property would be revived with The Rocketeers, starring a Black female lead. 10 Dan Trachtenberg, the director of Cloverfield Lane, also offered a Rocketeer reboot to Disney, which would have seen the Nazis invade New York City, but nothing came of it. In recent years, however, we haven’t been without Rocketeer material, as a Disney Junior series starring Cliff Secord’s great-granddaughter, Kit Secord, has been flying around and safeguarding Hughesville.
Remember The Rocketeer?
Billy Campbell featured as test pilot Cliff Secord, who uncovers a rocket device concealed inside an aircraft and finds himself in the centre of a mob war and a Nazi invasion in the original Rocketeer. Jennifer Connelly, Alan Arkin, Timothy Dalton, and Terry O’Quinn also starred as Howard Hughes in the cult classic Disney film.
Dave Stevens, a writer and artist for Pacific Comics, developed The Rocketeer in 1982.
After Pacific Comics failed in 1986, Disney bought The Rocketeer IP and planned a film for Touchstone Pictures. Unfortunately, the picture only made $62 million in its first year of release in 1991. Despite its disappointing box office performance, The Rocketeer was considered for a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation and a Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film, but both were won by Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
Is the reboot of ‘The Rocketeer’ set for a release date?
The picture has yet to be given a release date, and no information on when filming will begin has been disclosed. But the wheels are in action, and we’ll keep an eye out for further information as it becomes available from the studio.