In 2012, Disney announced that they were considering rebooting The Rocketeer. Released back in the 90s, the film was considered a box office flop, but has found a huge cult following since then. Joe Johnston’s film was truly one-of-a-kind, and honestly, looking past the CGI effects, it still olds up pretty well if you watch it today. In fact, you can say that this film helped inspire the Captain America: The First Avenger‘s tones, as both films were period pieces with our protagonists who defended America against the Nazis.
The then-new Disney chief Alan Horn was reportedly more focused on reviving older properties like The Muppets, making The Rocketeer the perfect movie to reboot. And now we are getting word that the studio is finally making progress on the reboot as they have hired Max Winkler and Matt Spicer to pen a “sequel reboot” – they’ll just come up with anything these days – entitled The Rockeeters. In addition to being a “sequel reboot,” the film will also have a “modern-day” twist. According to the same report, the film will be lead by a black female. More on the story below.
THR explains that the sequel reboot will give the franchise a fresh new start for those who may not be familiar with the film that originally starred Billy Campbell as the title character, Jennifer Connelly as the leading lady, and Timothy Dalton as the swooning villain. This new film will continue to maintain that period piece vibe by setting the “sequel” reboot only six years after the original film’s setting.
The new take keeps the story in a period setting and offers a fresh view on the characters. Set six years after the original Rocketeer and after Secord has vanished while fighting the Nazis, an unlikely new hero emerges: a young African-American female pilot, who takes up the mantle of Rocketeer in an attempt to stop an ambitious and corrupt rocket scientist from stealing jetpack technology in what could prove to be a turning point in the Cold War.
Here’s where it gets interesting. Based on that early description, it looks like Secord will be unavailable to pass on the torch to the new Rockeeters. Seeing as the film takes place not too far off the original, the only way that Disney could ever give this a modern-day twist is by gender and race bending the lead character. So I’m just going to throw Nathalie Emmanuel’s name into the hat. In an age where Internet fanboys can be upset by any sort of changes, I wouldn’t be surprised if they express outrage by this. And that’s fine, they are entitled to their opinion. But if we can have big budget comic book adaptations of Wonder Woman or Captain Marvel, gender bent heroes in comics like Iron Man or Thor, then why can’t we have a female Rocketeer?
Brigham Taylor (The Jungle Book), Blake Griffin of the L.A. Clippers and Ryan Kalil of the Carolina Panther will produce. No word on when Disney wants to release the film, but we will keep you up to date when they make the announcement.