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The Rocketeer set for Disney reboot

The Rocketeer

Story by Jack Foley

THE Rocketeer is set to be given the reboot treatment by Disney.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Walt Disney Studios is developing a reboot of the 1991 action adventure movie, which starred Billy Campbell, Jennifer Connelly and Timothy Dalton.

Brigham Taylor, who produced the successful live-action reboot of The Jungle Book with Jon Favreau, is among the film’s producers, while the principal character will now be a black female – although no casting details have yet been revealed. The film itself will take the form of a sequel/reboot.

Based on the popular 1980s indie comic by Dave Stevens, which was designed as a loving homage to the serials of the 1930s and 1940s, The Rocketeer followed the story of Cliff Secord, a stunt pilot who discovers a rocket pack and suit to die for, only to become embroiled in a [sometimes] high-flying adventure involving mobsters, Nazis, Howard Hughes and the FBI.

Joe Johnston directed the movie, which saw Campbell as Secord, Connelly as his aspiring actress girlfriend (an homage to Betty Page), and Dalton as an Errol Flynn-type actor turned Nazi spy.

Intended to be a franchise starter in its own right, The Rocketeer proved to be a box office misfire, taking only $46.6 million and being beaten by Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

But it has since gained cult appeal, prompting Disney to host a 20th anniversary screening of the movie in Hollywood’s El Capitan Theatre in 2011 that saw people queuing around the block to see it. As a result of that, the idea of a reboot has been doing the rounds for some time.

According to the report, the new take keeps the story in a period setting but offers a fresh view on the characters.

It would take place six years after the original Rocketeer and after Secord has vanished while fighting the Nazis, paving the way for an unlikely new hero to emerge in the form of 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 jet-pack technology in what could prove to be a turning point in the Cold War.

As yet, there is no word on a director or a release date as the project remains in the early stages of development.

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