The beloved cult classic film The Rocketeer is getting a revival with an all-new Disney+ movie, The Return of the Rocketeer. The film will be produced by David and Jessica Oyelowo under their Yoruba Saxon banner with David potentially starring in the project. Ed Ricourt is set to write. According to Deadline, the film will have an all-new creative directive and Ricourt's story will focus on a retired Tuskegee airman who takes up the Rocketeer mantle.
Based on the Dave Stevens graphic novel of the same name, the original The Rocketeer was released in 1991. Directed by Joe Johnston, The Rocketeer starred Billy Campbell as Cliff Secord, a stunt pilot who finds a suit and rocket pack that he just can't resist putting on. The act leads him into conflict with the mob, Nazis, and the FBI. The film starred Jennifer Connelly as Secord's girlfriend, an aspiring actress, Timothy Dalton as a Nazi spy masquerading as an actor, and Alan Arkin as a mechanic who worked with Secord. While a cult classic today, The Rocketeer opened to a disappointing $46.6 million, coming in fourth at the box office.
Walt Disney Pictures had previously confirmed in 2016 that they were rebooting The Rocketeer with a sequel titled The Rocketeers that would take place six years after the original film, but it appears that with the announcement of The Return of The Rocketeer, those plans have been shelved. Earlier this year, Campbell himself cast doubt on if a live-action revival of The Rocketeer would happen.
"As of yet, nothing's happened. To be honest, I don't know if anything will happen," Campbell told Slashfilm. "What I do know is that the film endures, and the reason it has such a long-lasting appeal, I think, is its spirit. It has a really sweet spirit. That more than anything is the reason for its longevity. I hope they do another something but I also hope they respect the spirit of the original. I can only imagine that unless you get the right people involved to do it properly, that it's almost bound to be a disappointment."
The Return of the Rocketter is the first film under Yoruba Saxon's first-look deal with Disney. Brigham Taylor is also producing. Mortal Media is executive producing. The film is being developed by the Disney live-action team.
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