Released back in 1991 to mediocre response, The Rocketeer has become something of a cult hit in the interim. Now that the movie is beloved, Disney sees potential to bring it back so they’ve been working on a new Rocketeer. This Rocketeer reboot is actually a soft-reboot. You might even call it Rocketeer 2.
A Rocketeer reboot screenplay was written back in 2016 by Max Winkler and Matt Spicer and with the arrival of Disney Plus the company is hungry for more content. So sources say they’re at last moving forward with The Rocketeer’s reboot for their streaming service. To do that they’ve hired Azia Squire to do another pass on the 2016 script and word is that they are now moving forward with a new Rocketeer.
We’ve known since 2016 that this new script makes big changes in the story. In this version of The Rocketeer the movie’s lead character will no longer be a white man. Even though the original movie is a period film about an ace pilot battling Nazis in the nineteen-thirties, it’s confirmed that Disney is going to gender swap the character and make the new Rocketeer’s lead a young African-American woman.
For that swap to make sense, they’re changing the time period of the film to the Cold War and now the plot of the new movie will be about an ace female African-American pilot who has to stop an evil Russian rocket scientist from getting a jetpack. The evil rocket scientist will be a woman too.
The new movie could connect into the old one, and may even reference the old one. The plot may connect enough to make this new Rocketeer technically a sequel. Disney may even call it The Rocketeer 2.
The Rocketeer You Remember
The original Rocketeer starred Billy Campbell as test pilot Cliff Secord, who finds himself in the middle of a mob war and a Nazi takeover when he discovers a rocket device hidden inside of a biplane. The cult-classic Disney film also featured Jennifer Connelly, Alan Arkin, Timothy Dalton, and Terry O’Quinn as Howard Hughes.
Comic book writer/artist Dave Stevens created The Rocketeer for Pacific Comics in 1982. Disney acquired The Rocketeer property in 1986 after Pacific Comics folded, and then they developed a film for Touchstone Pictures. Unfortunately, the film took in only $62 million during its 1991 release. Although it under-performed, The Rocketeer was nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation and a Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film, but lost both to Terminator 2: Judgment Day.