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"The Rocketeer" Is Coming Back To Prove That Representation Matters

By Brian Richards | Industry | July 29, 2016 |

By Brian Richards | Industry | July 29, 2016 |

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney Studios announced yesterday that The Rocketeer, the 1991 cult classic starring Billy Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, and Timothy Dalton, is currently being developed for a remake/reboot. The newest version will be titled The Rocketeers, and is being written by Matt Spicer and Max Winkler (son of Henry Winkler, who is best known for his role as the principal who got stabbed to death in Scream).

Based on the comic-book series by the late Dave Stevens, The Rocketeer told the story of 1930s test pilot Cliff Secord (Campbell) who accidentally comes into the possession of a stolen jet-pack and uses it to take flight as The Rocketeer, only to find himself pursued by FBI agents, gangsters, and Nazis as a result, all of them wanting the jet-pack for their own reasons.

The Rocketeers takes place six years after the original film, in which Secord has mysteriously disappeared while battling the Nazis, and as the Cold War approaches, a young African-American female pilot takes over the identity and jet-pack of The Rocketeer in order to prevent a corrupt rocket scientist from stealing jet-pack technology and allowing it to fall into the wrong hands.

For everyone who grew up loving The Rocketeer or discovered it much more recently, either in comic-book or live-action form, this is great news. (I was ten years old when introduced to the character and not only did I write Rocketeer fan-fiction as a fourth-grade writing assignment, I also thought that the film would be a much bigger hit than Terminator 2 when they were both released in the summer of 1991. Which just goes to show you that ten-year-olds clearly don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about). For everyone who believes that representation matters (and it truly does, just ask Pajiba 10 favorite John Cho) and wants to see it put into practice a lot more so that young girls can see people who look like them being brilliant, courageous, funny, and awesome, this is excellent news.

The only people who will see this news as anything other than excellent will be the angry and predictable-as-ever fanboys who will blow up all of social media and many a message board as they complain and wonder why another beloved character of theirs from their childhood has to be ruined by Social Justice Warriors with their feminism and their political correctness, and they’ll certainly ask why they all can’t just go somewhere and create their own characters instead of messing with the ones they all know and love. And when they ask this, they’re just going to get the same exact response that they got from everyone else when this also happened to Nick Fury, Little Orphan Annie, Spider-Man, Aquaman, Iris West (who is now being played by not one, but two Black women), Iron Man, and the Ghostbusters, while also having to accept that the smartest person in the Marvel Universe has just been announced to be a nine-year-old girl named Lunella Lafayette.

And that response will be:


Brian Richards is a Staff Contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.