The announcement comes only a couple of months after the 30th anniversary of Walt Disney Company’s The Rocketeer. After years of starts and stops (and one pre-K animated series), Disney once again announces a reboot of the underrated classic. This one might stick, and it should. David and Jessica Oyelowo plan to produce The Return of the Rocketeer for Disney+, possibly (hopefully) with Oyelowo starring. Ed Ricourt has been tapped to write the script. Deadline broke the story.
Not necessarily wiping away the 1991 film based on the late Dave Stevens’ comics creation, this take will focus on a retired Tuskegee airman donning the helmet and rocket pack. Already this pushes the action into the late 1940s — whether or not it’s still with a Hollywood backdrop (as in Joe Johnston’s original film) remains to be seen.
While many comics creators have continued The Rocketeer’s adventures after Stevens’ passing, all of them stuck with Cliff Secord (played by Billy Campbell in the film) as the character. This gives an added excitement to Ricourt’s script — it’s an all-new adventure, with no doubt greater social commentary. If anything, it reminds me of Penny-Farthing Press’ Captain Gravity and the Power of the Vril by Josh Dysart and Sal Velluto — though that one’s set before World War II, it may resonate thematically.
At any rate, this is exciting news for fans of The Rocketeer, and for Disney+ subscribers.