If you were an 80s/90s kid then you probably watched Disney’s 1991 film The Rocketeer at some point in your life. It was honestly a film ahead of its time. Taken from the wonderful source material written by the late Dave Stevens, The Rocketeer chronicled the adventures of pilot Cliff Secord who finds a mysterious rocket pack that he and his trusty mechanic Peevy study, adapt and use to thwart villainous plans (initially from the Nazi’s) who want to use the rocket for military and world domination. Later comics even saw the hero team up with another notable vigilante (who had his own 1994 film) The Shadow.
The 1991 film loosely followed the original comic which focused on Secord donning the moniker of The Rocketeer and fighting the likes of the Nazis. The cast was superb and featured Bill Campbell (Cliff Secord), Jennifer Connelly (Jenny), Alan Arkin (Peevy), Terry O’Quinn (Howard Hughes), Paul Sorvino (Eddie Valentine) and former James Bond himself, Timothy Dalton as the Errol Flynn-esque Neville Sinclair.
Unfortunately, this was before the huge on-screen superhero genre boom and the film was not deemed a success in the box office, but has since become a cult classic. There had been rumors of a planned sequel in the ’90s, which fizzled out due to the lack of success. Over the years there had still been a push to bring the hero back to life. In 2016 the rumors were reignited regarding a sequel called The Rocketeers, which lost some steam along the way. In 2019 Nick Jr. brought on an extremely kid-friendly cartoon version, but fans did not seem any closer to the desired sequel…until now!
RELATED – First Look At Disney’s The Rocketeer Animated Series
Rocketeer 2 looks to be back in development and although it won’t be on the big screen, Disney+ will be bringing the idea to life. While there is not an attached director yet, JD Dilliard (Sleight) has thrown his hat into the ring.
dear universe, i would like to make a sequel to this movie. https://t.co/WVevj18m3r
— JD Dillard (@JGDillard) February 7, 2020
The DisInsider reported that the film would focus on a young African-American female pilot trying “to stop an evil rocket scientist from stealing jetpack technology during a pivotal moment in the Cold War.” This would apparently take place in the same world as the original, so would effectively be a sequel as opposed to a reimagining. At this point, however, we don’t know how many of these elements are carried over in rewrites.
The early 1990s rumors surrounded the possibility of focusing on Russia and the earlier stages of the Cold War. Rocketeer 2 is not deemed as a reboot but a direct sequel to the 1991 film, so does that mean some of the former cast could make an appearance? I would love to see Billy Campbell come back and be used in a type of mentor role! It would make sense and present fans with an awesome, nostalgic connection!
It sounds like there is some great potential here, but my main hope is that it would make the wonderfully talented Dave Stevens proud! Are you excited to finally get a sequel to The Rocketeer? What character(s) would you like to see make a return? What did you like about the 1991 film? Leave your thoughts in the usual spot, and thanks for reading!
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Sources: Disinsider, Twitter