Disney’s reboot of The Rocketeer is once again close to liftoff. David Oyelowo (Selma, Star Wars Rebels) and his wife, actress and producer Jessica Oyelowo, are set to produce The Return of the Rocketeer through their company Yoruba Saxon Productions. According to The Hollywood Reporter, David Oyelowo may also star in the film, which will focus on a retired Tuskegee airman who becomes the Rocketeer.
The original Rocketeer (pictured above), released in 1991, is either a cult hit or one of those movies deeply beloved from everyone’s childhood, depending on who you’re talking to. (Presumably it can be both.) The film, based on the comics by Dave Stevens, is about a stunt pilot (played by Bill Campbell) who finds a jet pack that lets him fly around like a superhero; naturally, since it’s set in the ’30s, there are Nazis (led by Timothy Dalton) who would like to get their hands on the thing.
In May, the Oyelowos signed a first-look deal with Disney, and this is the first project to come of that. They will produce the reboot along with Brigham Taylor and Blake Griffin, and Ryan Kalil’s Mortal Media is on board in the role of executive producer. Taylor, Griffin, and Kalil were all involved with an earlier attempt to get a Rocketeer sequel or reboot off the ground. That film was said to center on “a young African–American female pilot, who takes up the mantle of Rocketeer in an attempt to stop an ambitious and corrupt rocket scientist from stealing jet-pack technology in what could prove to be a turning point in the Cold War.”
It sounds as if the plot has changed quite a bit, and there’s a different writer on board as well: Edward Ricourt (Now You See Me, Wayward Pines) is writing the screenplay for The Return of the Rocketeer.
Apart from the possibility of Oyelowo playing the lead, no casting has been announced, and a release date is a long way off. But when the movie lands, it’ll be on Disney+.