After Tim Burton’s 1989 ‘Batman’ proved to be not just a box office smash, but a bonafide pop culture phenomenon, many studios attempted to follow suit, but in most cases, they went too old or obscure, or both. Disney tried twice to capture that ‘Batman’ magic. First, in 1990, they adapted Chester Gould’s classic comic strip ‘Dick Tracy’ with an all-star cast including Warren Beatty (who directed), Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman and Madonna. The film underperformed, but the soundtrack yielded the iconic single ‘Vogue’, so at least there’s that. The next year, Disney tried again by adapting a more current comic book, Dave Steven’s ‘The Rocketeer’. But the indie comic couldn’t compare to mainstream hit ‘Batman’. Disney had hoped that ‘The Rocketeer’ would kick off a franchise, but the film’s box office performance didn’t warrant further installments.
But the film still has a cult following. In 2011, Disney held a 20th anniversary screening and the line stretched for blocks, with many attendees in costume, which got Disney thinking of revisiting this concept for a new movie.
The original was set during World War II and had the lead hero, Cliff Secord, played by Bill Campbell, matching wits with Nazis. The new movie, entitled ‘The Rocketeers’ will be set six years later, after Secord has vanished, with a female African American pilot who discovers Secord’s jet pack and other equipment and must defend these discoveries from corrupt scientists at the dawn of the Cold War.
Recently, another Disney-owned, high-flying hero, ‘Iron Man’ was replaced by an African American female in the comics.
‘The Rocketeers’ is being written by Matt Spicer and Max Winkler. The pair collaborated on the upcoming indie ‘Flower’, which Winkler directed. Winkler has also directed many TV shows including ‘Brooklyn 9-9’, ‘Fresh Off The Boat’, ‘The New Normal’ and ‘The New Girl’. The film will be produced by ‘The Jungle Book’s Brigham Taylor along with the L.A. Clippers’ Blake Griffin and the Carolina Panthers’ Ryan Kalil. I have no idea what the NBA connection is, but it was Griffin and Kalil who approached Disney with the idea for the reboot. Tendo Nagenda and Chaz Salembier are overseeing the project for Disney.
Does a ‘Rocketeer’ reboot sound like a good idea? Would you like to revisit this storyline? Or with this be another ‘Tron: Legacy’?
Source: The Hollywood Reporter