Disney’s The Rocketeer was unappreciated in its day, but has grown a cult following in the decades since its unheralded release. What’s not to like about it? It’s a pulp adventure tale in the Indiana Jones vein about a hotshot in a jetpack who punches Nazis on a blimp and has a barely altered Bettie Page knockoff for a girlfriend. But Disney hasn’t expressed any interest in a sequel for a long time, and now that they actually OWN Indiana Jones the chances for The Rocketeer’s revival are nil, right?
Apparently we were wrong (and happy to be)! Deadline broke the news this afternoon that the studio is pursuing The Return Of The Rocketeer, a direct sequel that runs on the same continuity as the original….though no one from the original cast will be appearing. Instead the experimental jetpack somehow leaps from Cliff Secord into the hands of an as-yet-unnamed former Tuskegee airman. What happened to Secord hasn’t been revealed, but only one thing matters at the moment…the airman must suit up, for the world needs The Rocketeer again!
More recently, Disney took a sideways step with The Rocketeer by using the name and concept for a preschool series on Disney Junior. Instead of Cliff Secord you had Kit Secord, a little girl who donned the now-purple helmet and jetpack. It was a cute idea but the show appears to have been ignored.
The Return Of The Rocketeer will be produced by David and Jessica Oyelowo under their Yoruba Saxon banner, and the script is currently being written by Ed Ricourt (Selma), who according to Deadline, is also being considered for the lead role. More info as it comes out!
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