Twenty years before introducing the Star-Spangled Man With a Plan in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s World War II period piece Captain America: The First Avenger, director Joe Johnston brought another 1930s-set comic book character to the big screen on behalf of Walt Disney Pictures with The Rocketeer.
Released in 1991, the film was originally intended to serve as the opening chapter of a trilogy, and while disappointing box office returns interrupted those plans, the movie has developed a dedicated cult following that’s been clamoring for a sequel ever since. Now, it seems they’ll finally get their wish, as The DisInsider has brought word that the follow-up is currently in active development and has snagged a new writer (Azia Squire), with the project headed to Disney Plus.
Of course, this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, as We Got This Covered already told you about the sequel the other week and that it was moving forward. But it’s nice to have some confirmation that it’s indeed in active development now – as it’s been in the works for a while – and better yet, filmmaker JD Dillard has fed the flames of fandom hope by Tweeting out his desire to helm a continuation of the high-flying hero’s adventures.
dear universe, i would like to make a sequel to this movie. https://t.co/WVevj18m3r
— JD Dillard (@JGDillard) February 7, 2020
Of course, Dillard is most widely known as the creator of Sleight, an R-rated science-fiction drama about a young street magician, that was produced on a budget of $250,000 before grossing $4 million in less than 600 theaters. Whether he’d be a good choice to take on The Rocketeer, we’re not sure, but it’s nice to see him throw his hat into the ring regardless.
For those unfamiliar with the original, Johnston’s 1991 film starred Billy Campbell as the title character, with supporting performances from Jennifer Connelly and Alan Arkin, as well as two-time Bond actor Timothy Dalton as a Nazi spy and Lost alum Terry O’Quinn as the eccentric aviator Howard Hughes. Campbell had signed on for two more prospective films and Connelly had signed on for one more, and while both contracts have surely expired, both actors are still around and keeping busy, though Campbell has made the transition to television.
In particular, he’s lately been providing voice work for the animated Rocketeer series that debuted on Disney Junior last November. Featuring Kit Secord as the great-granddaughter of Cliff, the series includes Campbell as Kit’s father, Dave Secord, the son of airplane mechanic Ambrose Secord and resident of Hughesville, and may provide the framework for a legacy sequel to the original film.
The Rocketeer can currently be seen on the Disney Plus streaming service (or a barely-functioning VCR if you’ve still got the VHS tape, like I do).