Disney’s 1991 film The Rocketeer has become a cult classic since its release, being widely viewed as a proto-superhero film that set the stage for the juggernaut of the MCU today.
Director Joe Johnston even went on to helm the first Captain America film. It seems like Disney sees the importance and influence of the film, as they’ve commissioned a new Rocketeer movie.
The film will be titled The Return Of The Rocketeer, and it will be exclusive to Disney+. David Oyelowo and Jessica Oyelowo are currently on board to produce the film, which may also end up starring David, but that’s not confirmed yet. Also producing are Blake Griffin – yes, the NBA star – and Ryan Kalil of Mortal Media.
Ed Ricourt (Now You See Me) has been hired to pen the script, which will reportedly focus on a retired Tuskegee airman who becomes the new Rocketeer.
No director has been hired yet. Johnston remains on good terms with Disney – he’s currently developing Shrunk, the fourth installment of the Honey, I Shrunk The Kids franchise – so it’s possible he could return.
Disney has actually been working on bringing The Rocketeer back for years. The original film was planned to be the beginning of a series of films, but the studio cancelled further installments when the first film had a disappointing box office return.
There were then rumours of a new Rocketeer film back in 2016, which was thought to be a reboot/sequel with a Black female protagonist. It’s unclear if this is the same project.
Additionally, Disney Junior debuted an animated Rocketeer series in 2019, which revolved around Katherine ‘Kit’ Secord, the great-granddaughter of Cliff Secord, the original Rocketeer. The show was canceled after one season.
With Disney looking for as much content as possible for Disney+, this new Rocketeer project should fare a lot better than the previous attempts to go back to the character.
We’ll now wait and see if Oyelowo does indeed sign on to star. He’ll next be seen starring in drama Solitary, and alongside Saoirse Ronan and Sam Rockwell in mystery See How They Run. Both of those are currently in post-production.