The planned sequel to The Rocketeer is reportedly back on track, and Sleight helmer JD Dillard is volunteering to direct the project himself. Back in 2016, it was announced that Disney had greenlit a sequel to the original movie called The Rocketeers with Max Winkler and Matt Spicer penning the script. Updates have been scarce on the project's status ever since, but a new report from The DisInsider suggests The Rocketeer 2 is back in development with Boomerang writer Azia Squire writing a new draft of the screenplay.
According to the report, The Rocketeer 2 is also intended to stream on Disney+ as opposed to bringing the franchise back to theaters. Brigham Taylor (Lady and the Tramp) is also reported to produce alongside Noah Weinstein (Inner Demons) and the NBA's Blake Griffin and the NFL's Ryan Kalil. However, no director has yet signed on to helm the project, leaving the door open for hungry filmmakers like Dillard to throw their name into the hat. "Dear universe, I would like to make a sequel to this movie," J.D. Dillard bluntly writes in a recent Twitter post referring to The Rocketeer.
Based on the comic book of the same name by Dave Stevens, The Rocketeer first premiered in 1991. As this was many years before comic book movies dominated the box office consistently, the movie was perhaps a bit ahead of its time, falling well short of studio expectations in terms of ticket sales. However, the movie developed a cult following in the years following its release, leading to the interest from both Disney and Rocketeer fans to finally see more from the franchise. Just last year, an animated series adaptation premiered on Disney Junior and many feel that it's time for us to get another movie as well.
A short synopsis for the planned Rocketeer sequel has also been provided. This time, the story is said to focus on a "young African-American female pilot who tries to stop an evil rocket scientist from stealing jetpack technology during a pivotal moment in the Cold War." The movie is also intended to be a direct sequel to the original movie rather than a complete reimagining. It's not clear if Squire's new draft of the screenplay will alter some of these elements, though the project is also reportedly still looking to cast a young African-American female for the lead and a Russian woman to play the villain.
Sleight director J.D. Dillard is probably far from the only filmmaker with an interest in reviving The Rocketeer with a new movie, so it's hard to say if he'll get his wish to helm The Rocketeer 2. In any case, it looks like the sequel is back on the right track towards production for a Disney+ launch, and we'll hopefully be getting more updates on its progress soon. In the meantime, you can always check out the original on Disney+ and the animated series adaptation on Disney Junior. This news comes to us from The DisInsider.