For those not familiar with the film (don’t worry, I had to Google this also), The Rocketeer was about a stunt pilot named Cliff Secord who found a high-tech jet pack that was hidden in a barn by a mobster. He tries it on, flies around and then an hour and a half later you leave the theater saying “That was ok, not great but for sure better than Bridewars.” One saving grace of this movie is that it did have some quality talent in it. A young and smokin’ hot Jennifer Connolly paired up with Timothy Dalton and Paul Sorvino does give this movie some much-needed celebrity weight. Also, Locke from Lost is in it.
There is one obvious problem with Disney rebooting The Rocketeer and that problem’s name is Tony Stark. Disney owns Marvel who made the wildly successful Iron Man franchise. One can’t help but think that jet pack from The Rocketeer is basically a poor man’s version of Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit. Sure, the first Rocketeer movie did have some decent special effects … but that was in 1991 when everyone still thought that neon signs were made of magic and that Asbestos was safer than seat belts. Cliff Secord has no special powers, he doesn’t fight any super villains and his helmet looks stupid. On top of that, I can’t imagine that a Rocketeer script would be able to warrant the kind of explosive power that an action movie nowadays needs to garner a successful box office run.
All that being said, The Rocketeer was adapted from a comic book and if anyone has the ability to make a comic book hero great, it is the geniuses at Marvel. With the right script and director, The Rocketeer could be a very successful franchise for Disney to get behind. You can’t tell me with a straight face that you wouldn’t shell out $13 to see The Rocketeer written and directed by Joss Whedon.
The Rocketeer is still in its infancy and a script has yet to be formulated. Disney plans on meeting with writers and producers soon to discuss what direction the movie will go in.
Eitan Levine is a New York City based comic. Follow him on Twitter at @Eitanthegoalie .