Disney Making a New Rocketeer Film with a Black Female Lead

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The Rocketeer, the 1930’s pulp hero throwback, is getting a “sequel-reboot” from Disney, THR reports. The character debuted in an ‘80s comic book series by Dave Stevens and was an homage to the serials of the ‘30s and ‘40s. The Rocketeer was then adapted to film in the 1991 film of the same name. Since then, however, he’s been MIA. Or should we say, “she.”

In the new film, written by Max Winkler and Matt Spicer, The Rocketeer will be a black woman. Previous incarnations found The Rocketeer fighting Nazis, but this version will be set in the post-World War II/early Cold War era. It will be consistent with the first Rocketeer film, taking place six years later. The original Rocketeer, a man named Cliff Secord, has disappeared. In his absence, a young woman takes up the mantle of The Rocketeer and pilots the suit to stop a corrupt scientist from stealing jet pack technology, a potentially tide-turning development in this alternate Cold War setting.

1991’s The Rocketeer had a poor showing in theaters, and was considered a flop. However, over the years, a dedicated following has turned the pulp hero into a cult classic. It’s encouraging to see Disney creating a new adaptation of the character as a black woman, rather than just remaking the original. Depending on the release date, which is currently unannounced, The Rocketeer might even be the first major comic book film with a black female lead, as neither DC nor Marvel have ever made one, nor do they have any on their release schedules.

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