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Disney to reboot 'The Rocketeer': report

Disney is bringing back its jetpack-powered hero The Rocketeer for a new film on Disney Plus.
Disney is bringing back its jetpack-powered hero The Rocketeer for a new film on Disney Plus. (Image credit: Disney)

Disney is set to revive "The Rocketeer" with a new movie bound for Disney Plus called "The Return of the Rocketeer," Deadline reports

David Oyelowo ("Jack Reacher," "Star Wars: Rebels," "Interstellar") will star and produce, along with his wife and producing partner Jessica Oyelowo. Ed Ricourt, who collaborated with David on "Sweet Thunder," will write the project.

It's only taken Disney 30 years to realize the potential of this franchise. Like Indiana Jones or James Bond, it's an untapped fountain of possibilities. The original movie was released in 1991 and was based on Dave Steven's graphic novel. He himself looked to the pulp comic book and Saturday morning serials for inspiration, like the 1949, 12-chapter, black-and-white movie serial from Republic Pictures, "King of the Rocketmen."

The original, directed by Joe Johnston, was not only a financial success for Disney, making close to $47 million at the domestic box on a $35 million budget, but it quickly became a family favorite and a developed a cult fanbase. 

Made in 1949, "King of the Rocketmen" – just like "Flash Gordon" and "Buck Rogers" – inspired a new generation. (Image credit: Republic Pictures)

Set in and around Hollywood in 1938, Billy Campbell starred as Cliff, a struggling hotshot pilot who stumbles upon a secret rocket pack project developed by Howard Hughes. However, the FBI knows about it and are also after it, as is dashing Errol Flynn-like actor Neville Sinclair (Timothy Dalton) who is secretly a Nazi spy and has hired Mafia goons, led by Paul Sorvino, to steal it.

Needless to say Cliff and his mentor/mechanic Peevy, played by the legendary Alan Arkin, embark on an amazing adventure to expose Sinclair and rescue his girlfriend, Jenny (Jennifer Connelly). 

Related: Taika Waititi's animated 'Flash Gordon' film is now going to be live-action

Hopefully, this reboot will spawn numerous sequels and the legend of the Rocketeer will live for decades to come.

Hopefully, this reboot will spawn numerous sequels and the legend of the Rocketeer will live for decades to come. (Image credit: Disney)

According to Deadline, "The Return of the Rocketeer" will have an all-new creative directive, with Ricourt’s story focusing on a retired Tuskegee Airman who takes up the Rocketeer mantle. And already we're excited, as this is a really interesting direction to go down. Moreover, David Oyelowo starred in the underrated "Red Tails," which tells the story of the squadron of black pilots known as the Tuskegee Airmen who were finally given the chance to fight in the skies over Italy in 1944. Despite volunteering to battle German planes in the air, they still had to battle discrimination on the ground. 

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Scott Snowden
When Scott's application to the NASA astronaut training program was turned down, he was naturally upset ... as any 6-year-old boy would be. He chose instead to write as much as he possibly could about science, technology and space exploration. He graduated from The University of Coventry and received his training on Fleet Street in London. He still hopes to be the first journalist in space. You can follow Scott on Twitter @LorumIpsum.