The Rocketeer has become something of a Disney cult classic over the years, as the 1991 film directed by Joe Johnston (Captain America: The First Avenger) has been heralded as a great pre-MCU superhero film from Disney. Now, Disney is reviving the character with a new Disney+ movie, entitled The Return of the Rocketeer, according to an exclusive from Deadline. David Oyelowo and Jessica Oyelowo are producing the project, which might end up starring David Oyelowo. Also producing are Blake Griffin and Ryan Kalil’s Mortal Media.
The project will also be written by Now You See Me writer Ed Ricourt. The Return of the Rocketeer will apparently focus on a retired Tuskegee airman who becomes the new Rocketeer.
Disney has been working on bringing The Rocketeer back for years. While the original film was planned to be the beginning of a series of Rocketeer films, Disney canceled further installments in 1991 when the first film saw disappointing box office returns. There was word of a new Rocketeer film back in 2016, which was thought to be a reboot-sequel that would star a Black female character, although it’s unclear if this is the same project. Additionally, Disney Junior debuted The Rocketeer animated series in 2019, which centered around Katherine “Kit” Secord, the great-granddaughter of Cliff Secord, otherwise known as the original Rocketeer. This attempt at bringing back the character, however, was canceled after one season.
While Oyelowo has not been cast as the lead in The Return of the Rocketeer, the actor would be a great choice for this character. Oyelowo is probably most well-known for playing Martin Luther King Jr. in 2014’s Selma, and has also appeared in such films as The Midnight Sky, Chaos Walking, Interstellar, Lincoln, The Butler, and Nightingale. Oyelowo already has a relationship with Disney, having appeared in A Wrinkle in Time and Queen of Katwe.
There is no release date yet for The Return of the Rocketeer yet, but check out the trailer for the original film below.