While Disney has lately been buoyed up by the output of studios it acquired – Marvel, Pixar etc. – the company is still committed to making new movies under the original Mouse House banner. Now the team at Vulture has heard that it might be digging into the archives to breathe new life into The Rocketeer.
Originally released in 1991 and based on Dave Stevens’ 1982 work for Pacific Comics, The Rocketeer saw Bill Campbell as Cliff Secord, a daredevil racing pilot in the late 1930s who discovers an experimental rocket jet pack stolen from Howard Hughes. When he uses the pack to become a masked hero, he faces trouble from the gangsters who stole it in the first place and eventually ends up battling Nazis.
With Jennifer Connelly, Alan Arkin and Timothy Dalton in the cast and Joe Johnston calling the shots, the original didn’t exactly set the box office aflame, but it is fondly remembered for its pulp spirit and adventurous nature.
Right now, Disney is apparently soliciting ideas for writers for the new take – hopefully it won’t plump for some modern-day, ultra-realistic reboot, which wouldn’t capture the feel that the character thrives on –– and it could all vanish into the development murk. But while it’s bubbling away, who would you cast as the gung-ho hero to commandeer the jet pack? And can a Rocketeer film still work in this post-Iron Man, post-Captain America age?