The Rocketeer will return with an all-new movie on Disney+. On Monday, it was reported that a follow-up movie entitled The Return of the Rocketeer is in development for the streamer with David and Jessica Oyelowo producing under their Yoruba Saxon banner. Brigham Taylor will also produce with Mortal Media exec producing. The movie is written by Ed Ricourt.
There are also talks for David Oyelowo to possibly star. The title seems to suggest some kind of continuation over an all-out reboot, and a few select details have been revealed about the plot. The Return of the Rocketeer will reportedly have an all-new creative directive with Ricourt’s screenplay focusing on a “retired Tuskegee airman who takes up the mantle of the Rocketeer.” It’s not clear at this time if any actors or characters from the original movie will return.
Directed by Joe Johnston and based on Dave Stevens’ comic book character of the same name, The Rocketeer was released in theaters in 1991. Set in 1930s Los Angeles, the story follows stunt pilot Cliff Secord (Billy Campbell) who comes across a rocket-powered jet pack that he uses to become the titular superhero. All the while, those looking to take him down are Howard Hughes and the FBI along with the Nazi operatives that stole the jet pack from Hughes. Along with Billy Campbell in the lead role, The Rocketeer also starred Jennifer Connelly, Alan Arkin, Timothy Dalton, Terry O’Quinn, Clint Howard, and Paul Sorvino.
Disney has tested the waters with expanding the world of The Rocketeer in recent years. In 2019, an animated TV series adaptation premiered on Disney Junior, presenting a seven-year-old taking the name in a show geared for toddlers. Campbell returned to voice the father of the lead character, and there are many Easter eggs referencing the original movie. The show was canceled after one season, airing its last episode last year.
For the past 30 years, the filmmakers involved with The Rocketeer had envisioned a sequel. The movie was originally envisioned as the first of a trilogy and Disney was hoping to see a new franchise blossom similar to what had happened with the Indiana Jones movies. Unfortunately, the movie did not perform as well at the box office as everyone was hoping for, and it’s taken decades for Disney to fully commit to bringing back the Rocketeer for another movie.
Nostalgia is everything these days, and the cult following that has been built for The Rocketeer seems to have finally swayed Disney into making the sequel. This follows several false starts over the past several years. At one point in 2016, there was talk of a movie called The Rocketeers entering development with a new character taking on the Rocketeer name when Cliff Secord goes missing. Updates have since been scarce, though last year, it was reported that Azia Squire wrote a new draft for the next Rocketeer.
Whatever Ed Ricourt has in mind for The Return of the Rocketeer has apparently sealed the deal with the sequel finally moving forward. For some fans, it may be a case of believing it when they see it. In any case, you can revisit the original movie now on Disney+. This news comes to us from Deadline.