The Rocketeer is getting a sequel with a black female lead

Looks like The Rocketeer will blast onto the big screen once more, but this time the movie will feature an African-American female lead.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney is prepping a reboot of the 1991 action-adventure-sci-fi film and has hired Max Winkler (Henry Winkler’s son) and Matt Spicer to write the screenplay for The Rocketeers, which is apparently in the early stages of development at the studio.

While the first film directed by Joe Johnston (Captain America: The First Avenger) took place in 1938 and featured Billy Campbell as Cliff Secord, a stunt pilot who discovers a rocketpack that allows him to fly, leading him to become embroiled with mobsters, Nazis, Howard Hughes and the FBI; Jennifer Conelly as his Betty Page-inspired aspiring actress girlfriend Jenny; Timothy Dalton as Errol Flynn-like matinee idol Neville Sinclair (who’s also a Nazi spy); and Alan Arkin as Secord’s mechanic Peevy; the new movie will be a sequel/reboot with a modern-day twist.

Here’s the gist of the new movie:

The new take keeps the story in a period setting and offers a fresh view on the characters. Set six years after the original Rocketeer and after Secord has vanished while fighting the Nazis, an unlikely new hero emerges: a young African–American female pilot, who takes up the mantle of Rocketeer in an attempt to stop an ambitious and corrupt rocket scientist from stealing jetpack technology in what could prove to be a turning point in the Cold War.

The Rocketeer was based on writer-illustrator Dave Stevens’ 1982 indie comic book character, who was a clear homage to the Saturday matinee serial heroes of the 1930s and 1940s. Much like Indiana Jones. 

Although The Rocketeer only grossed $46.6 million when the film was first released, it became a cult classic. And when Disney hosted a 20th-anniversary screening of the movie back in 2011, a funny thing happened on the way to the forum El Capitan Theater as fans lined up for blocks, many suited up in their Rocketeer outfits. It’s apparently around that time that Disney began mulling a reboot, but they wanted to find a way to differentiate the character from Disney's other rocketman, Iron Man.

What do you guys think about Diney's idea for The Rocketeers? In the meanwhile, have a blast from the past and check out the trailer for the original movie:

(via THR)

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