My love for Joe Johnston’s 1991 adaptation of The Rocketeer is right up there in the stratosphere. It had an amazing pulpy feel and sported a great cast: A fresh faced Billy Campbell under the gold helmet, Alan Arkin as his reliable mechanic, a young John Locke before he got lost on that island, an even younger Jennifer Connelly before DarrenAronofsky made her do some really bad things and a scenery chewing Timothy Dalton as a pencil-moustached Nazi spy.
All of which, unfortunately, still couldn’t stop it from crashing and burning at the box-office. But now it looks like Disney is ready light this baby up again.
Word came via Vulture that now that the House of Mouse is under new management, they may be looking to put a few of their own big properties into play instead of just riding on the golden coattails of their Marvel and Pixar acquisitions. And according to Vulture’s spies, first up on the list is a remake of the thirties based adventure film, which saw racing pilot Cliff Secord (Campbell) accidentally discover an experimental rocket pack stolen by thugs from Howard Hughes (Terry O’Quinn) which he used to save his girl (Connelly) and fight off monologuing Nazi spies in 193o’s America.
They are quick to point out though, that at this point no real names are attached to the project, and in fact Disney has not even acknowledged it in any formal capacity, but they have sent out requests for writers to pitch reboot ideas.
Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing a new version up on the screen, as long as they don’t modernize it. That vintage feel is what made the original film so special (and incidentally is probably also what landed Joe Johnston the Captain America directing gig two decades later), and a lot of the film’s heart would be lost. Not to mention, as Vulture points out, that a modern Rocketeer would have a little too much in common with another Marvel-Disney property: Iron Man. So I say, pull an Indiana Jones and set the story 20 years later in the 50’s to bring in a whole new cast and story, but still keeping that pulp serial feel.
And for those of you who were too young to remember the film, here’s a refresher:
Last Updated: August 22, 2012