Disney has hired screenwriters Max Winkler and Matt Spicer to write a sequel to their 1991 film The Rocketeer, according to the the Hollywood Reporter. The new film will have a black, female lead wearing the rocket pack featured in the original movie.
The first Rocketeer film, Joe Johnston’s adaptation of a series of comics by Dave Stevens, underperformed at the box office in its original release but has had a long tail, due to the fact that it’s utterly charming. Set in 1938, the film was an homage to the serial adventure films of the period. Billy Campbell played a stunt pilot named Cliff Secord, who stumbles on a stolen top-secret rocket jet packet. Secord, along with his mechanic (Alan Arkin) and girlfriend (Jennifer Connelly), cross swords with Timothy Dalton, playing a swashbuckling Nazi actor based loosely on a later-discredited biography of Errol Flynn.
The new film, to be called The Rocketeers, will be set six years later in 1944: Secord has disappeared, and a new rocketeer steps forward: a black female pilot who will battle to keep the jet pack technology out of the hands of the Soviets. So it’s a comic book Operation Paperclip starring Bessie Coleman. Which sounds like a lot of fun, but maybe not as much fun as Nazi blimps over Hollywood. No word yet as to who will play Wernher von Braun.