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Whoa - Disney is Actually Developing a Reboot of 'The Rocketeer'?

by
August 21, 2012
Source: Vulture

The Rocketeer

If you're looking for the biggest fan of The Rocketeer you can find, look no further. Joe Johnston's 1991 adventure film is — I'm not exaggerating here — one of my favorite movies ever made, and the film captured my imagination like no other when I was growing up. So it's with mixed feelings that I bring you news from Vulture that Walt Disney Pictures is developing a reboot of the comic book property. The studio is said to be meeting with writers soon to come up with a take on the story, which follows stunt pilot Cliff Secord (Billy Campbell) as he discovers a prototype jetpack, battles Nazis, and gets the girl (Jennifer Connelly), too.

I had a chance last year to see The Rocketeer on the big screen at Disney's historic El Capitan Theater in Hollywood where it debuted in that same theater 20 years before, and it was clear that Disney cares a lot about this property because they put on a hell of a show. They created a new never-before-seen print for the film, had director Joe Johnston, star Billy Campbell, and special effects guru Rick Baker there for a Q&A, and even put together an exhibition at the nearby Hollywood Museum, where they featured props, costumes, and models from the film. (Read all about that event and see my own photos here.)

The point is, Disney seemed to put a bit more effort into this anniversary than some of their other films, so it's obvious that it has fans inside the studio. Vulture guesses that this reboot could be the brainchild of new Disney chief Alan Horn (former head of Warner Bros), in an effort to resurrect Disney's fading live action brand. I honestly never thought a reboot was even an option because the movie did so poorly when it opened back in '91. (To be fair though, it had to compete with Terminator 2: Judgment Day that summer.)

While I'm a huge fan of the original, I must admit that I'm excited about future generations of kids having the same experience I did if a new version hits the screen, and perhaps this one will be successful enough to turn this property into the franchise it was intended to be in the first place. The Rocketeer is truly a fantastic fun adventure film (with a standout performance from former Bond, Timothy Dalton) and at the very least I hope this news means more people will go back and revisit the original. Do you want to see a reboot?

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  • Dan
    YES. Good sir, I believe I may be the biggest fan for the rocketeer. Loved this movie so much I tried making the helmet out of snow and tried putting it on my head.
  • dom
    I loved this film and it was always my dream to helm a reboot one day - aww shucks.
  • Some Vague Idea
    Insane fan of Dave Stevens property. Movie got it so right. Maybe one of the best translations ever if not the best for capturing exactly what the property was. It can only disappoint.
  • dom
    Best I managed so far was this I made back in 2009 - Atomic Robo who reminded me of the Rocketeer :) http://youtu.be/DeANB7yPZrw
  • maxwell
    Only if they bring back John Locke as Howard Hughes :) Awesome movie and Neville Sinclair is one of the greatest movie vilain !
  • RidgeRacer4
    Well I guess they spent all that Anniversary money on the screening at El Capitan and had no money left for the 'Anniversary' Blu-Ray:( This news kind of makes me sick but Alex I understand your stance on how new legions of young kids could be soooo inspired and taken by a revisioning of Steven's classic character. Still after seeing The Thing remade/prequeled I have doubts. But above all else I don't envy the composer who has to follow up James Horner's sensational score; easily the best thing he's ever done!
  • It's me
    Who can compare to Jennifer Connelly?
    • David Banner
      No one. Jennifer Connelly is our Godess. I'm not sure if the worship started with Labyrinth or Career Opportunities :)
  • LightningB
    Love this movie! Arguably greatest PG action flick there is. Any "cheesy" actingdialouge worked in the movie perfectly. Such a huge underrated film. I hope Disney actually does this.
  • Ian
    I don't know. This is easily one of my top 5 films of all time. Everything works so well, from the dialogue, to Dalton's performance, to the score...Not to mention everything is pretty nicely tied up at the end. Pretty sure if this happens, I'll only be disappointed. Why can't Disney concentrate on a new idea instead of rehashing an old one that is already great as it is?
  • Lamar
    Absolutely loved this flick when I was a kid. A reboot sounds like a great idea.
  • obloodyhell
    I think iit has a lot of potential. It's a much better subject for a reboot than many of the recent choices -- I mean, Red Dawn? Really? While I didn't consider the original preposterously far fetched, who is going to invade America NOW? -- or Total Recall? Why? The original was... lackluster -- As I recall, it just lacked "oomph" that it needed, I don't know what or why. Perhaps Timothy Dalton as the villain is what did it in, I don't know. Dalton has only a limited range because, well, he's so smarmy, that's the only word I can think of for him. It did ok in general, and I've always been a fan of Campbell (Moon Over Miami was a fun little riff on the Moonlighting/Remington Steele meme), but I could understand why it did poorly at the box office. A shame Dave Stevens passed on before he could see it revived. LOL, PS: Sorry, Ian, Dalton was the worst thing in this movie, as I recall.

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