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The Return of the Rocketeer

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Gord Green
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Joined: 06 Oct 2014
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2021 8:25 pm    Post subject: The Return of the Rocketeer Reply with quote

Amy Ratcliffe

Mon, August 30, 2021, 6:35 PM

This year marks 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+ movie called The Return of the Rocketeer.

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.

Edward Ricourt (Now You See Me, Jessica Jones) will write the script. David and Jessica Oyelowo will produce the film under their Yoruba Saxon banner. Brigham Taylor will produce too, with Mortal Media executive producing.

Deadline also reports David Oyelowo (Selma, The Lion Guard) could 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.

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.

There comes a time, thief, when gold loses its lustre, and the gems cease to sparkle, and the throne room becomes a prison; and all that is left is a father's love for his child.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2021 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Wikipedia's article about The Rocketeer includes a section about the long awaited sequel.

Wikipedia says:

From the beginning of the process of making The Rocketeer, creator Dave Stevens and screenwriters Danny Bilson and Paul De Meo envisioned it as the first entry of a trilogy. Disney, in particular, hoped the film would carry a vein similar to the Indiana Jones franchise.

Both Campbell and Connelly were contracted for sequels, Campbell for two more and Connelly for only one. However, with the film's disappointing box office performance, plans for a sequel were halted in July 1991.

"[Unfortunately] the movie didn't make as much money as Disney had hoped", Campbell reflected in a January 2008 interview with MTV News. "And that coupled with the acrimonious relationship that the director [Joe Johnston] and the studio had, contributed to them not even considering it".

Although the calls for a sequel remain unrequited, as with many films of this genre, the film has built up a cult following in both the United States and Japan. In 2008, Medicom, a Japanese toy manufacturer, issued two versions of 12" poseable action figures and replica helmets based on the film.


The original Dave Stevens comics are still in demand and movie memorabilia continues to have a ready audience.


In addition, Johnston's work on this film led to him being hired 20 years later to direct another period superhero film, Captain America: The First Avenger in 2011.

As of 2012, Disney was reported to be developing a remake of The Rocketeer. Saw series creator James Wan has talked about directing the film.

In July 2016, it was confirmed that Walt Disney Pictures will be rebooting The Rocketeer, titled The Rocketeers, with the film being written by Max Winkler and Matt Spicer. Brigham Taylor is producing the film, as is Blake Griffin of the Brooklyn Nets and Ryan Kalil of the Carolina Panthers.

It was reported that The Rocketeers will be a "reboot sequel" that takes place six years after the original film with a black female pilot in the lead role. The film's plot sees the lead take on the mantle of The Rocketeer after Cliff Secord has gone missing while fighting the Nazis.

The new Rocketeer goes on a mission to stop a corrupt scientist from stealing jetpack technology and shifting the balance of the Cold War.

Peter Ramsey expressed interest in directing the sequel and also suggested several other directors like Gina Prince-Bythewood, Darnell Martin, and Amma Asante for the project, as well. In April 2016, Taylor confirmed that the film will be a sequel.

By February 2020, it was announced that Azia Squire wrote a new draft for the sequel, which will be released exclusively on Disney's streaming service, Disney+ and directed by J. D. Dillard. In August 2021, the sequel was officially titled The Return of the Rocketeer.

Ed Ricourt was hired to write a new draft of the screenplay, with David Oyelowo and Jessica Oyelowo serving as producers, while David may also star as the title role. The plot will center on a former Tuskegee Airman who inherits the jetpack suit and the heroic mantle.


Note from me: Hey, I like this idea with the Tuskegee Airman! That works a lot better than just making the new Rocketeer "a black female pilot" for the sake of diversity, etc.
There are some people who, if they don't already know, you can't tell 'em. ~ Yogi Berra
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