'The Rocketeer' Is Getting a Sequel That Will Reboot the Character in a Surprising Way

'The Rocketeer' Is Getting a Sequel That Will Reboot the Character in a Surprising Way

Jul 28, 2016

Between his time as an Oscar-winning special effects artist on Raiders of the Lost Ark and helming Captain America: The First Avenger, Joe Johnston worked on another action adventure release set during World War II featuring a hero fighting Nazi villains. That movie, The Rocketeer, wasn't nearly as successful as the other two, but it has developed a cult following. So, instead of merely remaking that 1991 graphic novel adaptation, as was previously the idea, Disney is actually planning a sequel. 

The catch is, according to The Hollywood Reporter, we won't be seeing Billy Campbell resume his role as the titular flying hero. The new movie will be set six years later and have a Cold War backdrop. The Rocketeer we saw in the original, Cliff Secord, is reportedly lost somewhere after fighting the Nazis in Europe. In his place, a young, female African-American pilot straps on a jet pack and helmet and takes over the job while fighting spies and corrupt scientists.

Could they bring back anyone else?

Jennifer Connelly actually doesn't look like she's aged 25 years, and Alan Arkin could just reprise his mechanic character with explanation that he had a rough few. It's all doubtful, but they ought to have at least some connective tissue other than the title and exposition. We'll leave that to screenwriters Max Winkler (Ceremony) and Matt Spicer to figure out. 

Although The Rocketeer is based on a comic only as old as 1980, created by Dave Stevens, the retro source material and its adaptation pay homage to pop culture of the 1930s and 1940s, including pin-ups, the celebrity of Howard Hughes and old serials, particularly one titled King of the Rocket Men. Check out a trailer for the DVD of that 1949 classic below.

 

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