Thursday, July 28, 2016
Disney's THE ROCKETEERS Now In Development With A Black Female Lead
I thoroughly enjoyed City Slickers and Kevin Reynolds's Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves back in 1991. Unfortunately that wasn't great news for director Joe Johnston a week after that film opened with his own pulp hero adaptation, The Rocketeer - based on Dave Stevens's 1982 independent comic, falling short of expectations at the box office for Disney.
Fast forward a couple of decades later, however, and it turns out that the prospects of a remake or a sequel have brightened up since then, and thanks to a rather festive cult following built over the years. Thus, word from THR now brings news of a reboot that will sequelize Johnston's orginal film which cast Scott Campbell in the role of a Los Angeles stunt pilot in 1938 who finds a stolen jetpack and uses his heroic alias to take on NAZIs infiltrating the U.S., led by a spy masquerading as an actor. Max Winkler and Matt Spicer are scripting the sequel/reboot, The Rocketeers, which, set in 1944 before the Cold War and six years following the disappearance of the original Rocketeer, sees a young African-American female pilot-turned-heroine take the mantle against an evil rocket scientist in seeking jet-pack technology for his own nefarious uses.
Apparently Disney has been getting signs of good things to come for the property since the film's 20th Anniversary screening for fans back in 2011 at El Capitan theater. Moreover, some of those vibes likely reached Mortal Media founders, athletes Blake Griffin of the L.A. Clippers and Carolina Panthers' own Ryan Kalil who, in turn, approached producer Brigham Taylor (Jon Faverau's The Jungle Book) with the idea.
Honestly, I didn't expect this movie to be a thing at all as I've had my mind obsessively on other titles. That said, considering the era we're in now with studios acting more gender and race concious about their hiring, the casting for a black female led in a property like this seems only fitting, and quite opportune for moviegoers looking toward black actresses getting a more grand spotlight, which is fine by me. The premise sounds terrific and I'm curious to see how Disney follows-up Johnston's film in comparison.
Stay tuned for more info!