Disney Is Rebooting ‘The Rocketeer,’ But This Time With Added Diversity
Another day, another reboot.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney is in the early stages of rebooting the 1991 film The Rocketeer. The studio has reportedly hired Max Wrinkler (The Ceremony) and Matt Spicer to write the film, which the site describes as a “sequel-reboot.” As much as this news sounds like another unnecessary reboot, Disney is using the opportunity to bring some diversity to the screen. The new Rocketeer will feature a black female lead character and the film will take place six years after the events of the first movie. Here’s THR’s full description of the sequel:
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 original film was set in 1938 and starred Billy Campbell as stunt pilot Cliff Secord who finds a rocket powered jet pack and gets wrapped up in an adventure with Nazi operatives, mobsters, Howard Hughes and the FBI. It also starred Jennifer Connelly, Alan Arkin and Timothy Dalto. The Rocketeer was directed by Joe Johnson and adapted from Dave Stevens’ 1982 comic.
It’s pretty exciting Disney will be giving us a black female superhero with the reboot, news that comes on the heels of Marvel Comic’s new Iron Man, who will be a 15-year-old black woman. There’s certainly a dearth of superheroes of color on the big screen, and Marvel Studios is only just debuting its first solo film led by a superhero of color with Black Panther next year. Hopefully the new Rocketeer helps usher in more diverse heroic lead characters.