As the saying goes, good things come to those who wait, and for fans of Joe Johnston’s 1991 Disney film The Rocketeer, the thirst for new content will soon be quenched. An effort by Disney to revisit its archives has unveiled a fresh, live-action Rocketeer film in the works, with David and Jessica Oyelowo tapped to produce.
The report was first surfaced by Deadline, which revealed the name of the project. Titled The Return of the Rocketeer, the film will be developed for Disney+ and feature an “all-new creative directive…focusing on a retired Tuskegee airman who takes up the Rocketeer mantle.” While the House of Mouse has yet to confirm its nature, the new movie is likely to be more of a reboot-sequel than a direct follow-up.
Ed Ricourt, whose past works include Now You See Me and Wayward Pines, is penning the screenplay under the Oyelowo’s Yoruba Saxon Productions banner. David Oyelowo, known for his performance in Selma and Star Wars Rebels, may possibly star in the movie, with Walt Disney film producer Brigham Taylor also producing alongside the duo.
Based on the popular 1980s indie comic by Dave Stevens, The Rocketeer revolves around Cliff Secord, a stunt pilot who discovers an experimental jet pack and suit, only to end up embroiled with mobsters, Nazis, and the FBI. Despite a rather abysmal performance at the box office, it managed to build up a passionate legion of fans over the years, so rumours of Rocketeer projects are not entirely unheard of.
The sequel-reboot is hardly Disney’s first shot at reviving the title. An animated kids series was brought to Disney Junior back in 2019, but it quickly came to an end after a short run. With the Oyelowos running the show, the time has certainly come for the Rocketeer to take flight and soar once again – hopefully with more flair this round.