Disney is dusting off one of its long-dormant properties for a new generation and a new target audience– ‘The Rocketeer’. The new spin on the concept shifts its focus to a young girl rather than an adult male and it will be an animated series instead of a feature film.
The series will follow Kit, a young girl who receives a surprise birthday package revealing she’s the next Rocketeer, a renowned superhero who takes to the air with the help of a jet pack. Alongside her gadget-whiz best friend Tesh and her airplane mechanic uncle Ambrose, Kit assumes her new secret identity to embark on a series of heroic adventures.
Disney originally released the live-action film ‘The Rocketeer’, based on the Dave Stevens comic book of the same name in 1991. Bill Campbell starred as the titular hero, with Jennifer Connolly playing his love interest Jenny and then-James Bond Timothy Dalton as the villain Neville Sinclair. The film was Disney’s attempt to cash in on the success of Warner Brothers’ 1989 smash ‘Batman’, but unfortunately audiences weren’t impressed. Despite the film getting mostly positive reviews, it flopped and plans for sequels were dashed. The property has lied dormant ever since and most would probably have assumed that it was the last the public would have seen of it.
The new series will arrive next year on Disney Junior. It is aimed at children aged 2-7. Each episode will consist of two eleven-minute shorts plus an original song.
Senior vice president of original programming Joe D’Ambrosia stated:
“We are very excited to introduce The Rocketeer to our young Disney Junior audience. The vast storytelling found in the original comic books provides the perfect opportunity to create an exciting new adventure series told from a young girl superhero perspective that the whole family can enjoy together.”
The switch to making a young girl the protagonist may seem to indicate that this is ‘The Rocketeer’ in name only, but D’Ambrosia’s mention of using Stevens’ comic books as the basis hints that this may be a lot closer to the original stories that one might think. At any rate, this was a concept that has been dormant for decades, so for fans of either Stevens’ comics or the live-action film may be happy just to see the idea revisited in any form, especially if they have any little would-be Rocketeers running around.
Source: Entertainment Weekly