The cult classic Disney film known as The Rocketeer came out in 1991, and there have been talks of it being remade for years, but nothing has ever come of it. Back in 2012, the talks heated up, but then died out very quickly. Now, it looks as if a reboot of the movie is going to be moving forward, and things are going to drastically change as the lead is no longer a white male, but a young African-American female.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the project is still in the early stages of development and it’s not just seen as a reboot, but also a bit of a sequel. There will be a modern twist to this version of The Rocketeer, and a much different lead, as it will now be a black female character.
Max Winkler has been hired along with Matt Spicer to write the script for the film, which is currently titled as The Rocketeers.
— Screen Rant (@screenrant) July 28, 2016
An unusual set of producers are on board for the film, as well, and they are led by Brigham Taylor, who produced The Jungle Book with Jon Favreau. Other producers on The Rocketeers are Ryan Kalil of the Carolina Panthers (NFL) and Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers (NBA).
In 1991, the original film was released with Billy Campbell in the lead role of Cliff Secord, a stunt pilot who came across a rocket pack and a suit that essentially turned him into a superhero. He used it to help others while getting involved with the FBI and against the mob and Nazis.
The Rocketeer was directed by Joe Johnson and also starred Jennifer Connelly, Alan Arkin, and Timothy Dalton.
The Rocketeer was made on a budget of $35 million and bombed at the box office, even for 1991, as shown by Box Office Mojo. It made just $46.7 million domestically after an opening weekend of $9.6 million, which is low by just about the standards of any era in the last 30 to 40 years.
Considering it opened up against Dying Young, City Slickers, and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, it’s not surprising that its opening weekend wasn’t very good. Everyone looked at the film as a failure, and that it just wasn’t going to amount to much at all.
It wasn’t until after it left theaters and years later that it really started to blossom as even more than a cult classic. The Rocketeer is a film that fans love the world over whether they were adults in 1991, in high school, or not even born yet.
In The Rocketeers, the story will take place six years after that of the original film, which now reveals Cliff Secord has disappeared while battling the Nazis. Evil-doers are going after his rocket pack and looking to use it for the bad guys, but the young African-American female pilot lead takes up the costume and the fight.
It’s said that the jet pack and its technology could be the turning point in the Cold War, so it would be horrific for it to fall into the wrong hands.
Some people say they are sick of remakes and reboots and want to see more original works, but when done right, even rehashed ideas can work well. The Rocketeer is obviously not going to be a straight remake, and that is why Disney is going with the term “reboot” instead, as big changes are being made. The story may be similar, but making the lead a young African-American female changes things dramatically and makes for an exciting story to come.
[Image via Disney]