New Rocketeer Movie Coming To Disney, David Oyelowo To Wear The Jetpack

It's been thirty years since "The Rocketeer" first soared into theaters. Now, at long last, Disney is bringing back the high-flying hero, whose retro 1991 film remains one of the best comic book movies of the late 20th century. A new report indicates that the Rocketeer will return in a movie for Disney+, with David Oyelowo producing and possibly starring.

According to Deadline, Oyelowo and his wife and producing partner, Jessica Oyelowo, will finance "The Return of the Rocketeer" through their production company, Yoruba Saxon. The story will focus "on a retired Tuskegee airman who takes up the mantle of the Rocketeer."

Ed Ricourt is penning the screenplay. Ricourt's previous writing credits include the film "Now You See Me" as well as episodes of "Jessica Jones" and "Wayward Pines." Writer and illustrator Dave Stevens first created the Rocketeer for Pacific Comics in 1982.

The idea of having a retired Tuskegee airman don the Rocketeer's helmet and jetpack is a novel one that could go a long way toward justifying "The Return of the Rocketeer." The title and description of this project make it sound like a sequel that might also be something of a soft reboot. Oyelowo already has some experience playing a Tuskegee airman; he co-starred in "Red Tails," Lucasfilm's last production before it was purchased by Disney in 2012.

The Return of the Rocketeer

We revisited "The Rocketeer" just last year, with /Film's Josh Spiegel unearthing it from the Disney Vault and calling it an "early superhero masterpiece." This summer, Billy Campbell sat down for an interview with us as the movie turned 30. "The Rocketeer" also stars Jennifer Connelly, Alan Arkin, Timothy Dalton, and Terry O'Quinn as Howard Hughes. Dalton plays the villain and was only two years from his final outing as James Bond in "License to Kill."

"The Rocketeer" is one of those films that has maintained a loyal cult following over the years. It was the sophomore feature of Joe Johnston; he was coming off his directorial debut, "Honey I Shrunk the Kids," when he made it. Two decades later, Johnston would helm "Captain America: The First Avenger," and you can definitely see the overlap between that film and "The Rocketeer," not only in terms of its period setting but also its overall tone as a nostalgic World War II adventure.

We'll be following the development of this story and will let you know more details about "The Return of the Rocketeer" as soon as they become available.