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After buying out Marvel Comics, and by way of possession, Marvel Studios, Walt Disney Pictures is in the superhero movie business big time. Their shareholders are feeling pretty good about the studio releasing the billion dollar Avengers movie, and Marvel Studios is moving ahead with its second wave of feature films. All signs point to continued success, and uncovering new ways for Disney to crosspromote Marvel's pantheon of recognizable heroes in all of the company's many different divisions.
So why would Disney want to dust off a non-Marvel superhero project like The Rocketeer and reboot it for a new generation?
Vulture broke the story about the House of Mouse wanting to make a second Rocketeer film. The first one was directed by Joe Johnson, the same guy that directed Marvel's Captain America: The First Avenger. However, while the Cap movie was a financial success, Johnson's 1991 Rocketeer movie failed to fly at the box office. It didn't launch the movie career of Billy Campbell, the actor who played Cliff Secord/The Rocketeer, and it didn't propel Jennifer Connelly's career any higher too (even though she looked amazing in it.) Maybe it had something to do with audiences not being into superheroes at the time, or that nobody outside of a small group of comic book insiders knew who The Rocketeer was, but the movie wasn't a hit.
Vulture doesn't have much else to go on aside that the studio wants to meet with writers and hear their pitches for a new screen story. At this early stage it's even unknown whether a new Rocketeer would continue to be set in the comic's original 1930s era or transplant the idea to a fresher, modern day setting.
Created by Dave Stevens, The Rocketeer is an homage to the golden days of cinema and the episodic serials that ran before the main feature. Cliff Secord is a young flyer who is given a jet-fueled rocket backpack, allowing him to fly the skies over California unaided by an airplane. Various agencies want to get their hands on the backpack including Germany's Third Reich.