Well, Disney Studio it seems is dusting off it properties and going to give the “Rocketeer” the old college try again. Or at least, that’s the most recent report going around the Inter-web today courtesy of Vulture, who quotes unnamed “spies” that Disney is looking at plans to reboot the “1991″ classic movie “The Rocketeer” for modern audiences. We’re told the studio is now meeting with writers to get, we assume, a fresh take on the property.
Originally published as a comic book in the early ’80s by Dave Stevens, the character made the leap to the big screen in 1991 courtesy of Disney and director Joe Johnston (who would go on to direct “Captain America: The First Avenger”, also for Disney/Marvel). It starred Billy Campbell as Cliff Secord, a dashing pilot in ’30s Los Angeles, who, after stumbling across an experimental jet pack stashed in his plane, finds himself running afoul of gangsters and a secret Nazi played by James Bond himself Timothy Dalton, whose character was masquerading as a movie star. The film also co-starred a gorgeous Jennifer Connelly in one of her earliest roles.
I’m quite sure with the right vision and filmmakers behind it, “The Rocketeer” would benefit greatly from today’s special effect’s and technology. A man with a jet pack strapped to his back will look seamless in theaters if Disney actually goes through with this idea of bringing the character back. Which word is because the recent Blu-ray’s are selling like hot-cakes on the home video market. Although I’m sure that’s not the only one.
But will a new movie have the same kind of freewheeling sense of fun and adventure and nostalgia as the original picture? The original “Rocketeer” film was something of a Box Office flop back in the summer of 1991, but has since become a massive cult hit, pulling in a strong audience and diverse fan base.
Still, I’m not 100% sure what kind of “take” you’d need to put on the story in order to convince a movie-going public weaned on Christopher Nolan’s dark & moody Batman Trilogy and Joss Whedon’s outrageously epic alien-invasion Avengers film, to go see a movie about a guy in 1930s Los Angeles goofing around with a jet pack, a movie star girlfriend, and fighting, well, Nazis. But I for one welcome the idea. There are so many stories to tell and adventures to be had with the “Rocketeer” character, it would be a shame to waste any of it . . .