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Go Get ‘Em, Kid: Disney Reviving The Rocketeer With Black Female Lead Character

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Do you remember Disney’s cult classic The Rocketeer? If you don’t, you should actually go ahead and give it a watch, but if you do, this one’s for you. Apparently, Disney is looking to being the movie back to the big screen, with one incredible notable change: The creators are hoping to bring in a black female character as the lead.

Originally, the lead character, Cliff, was played by Billy Campbell, alongside Jennifer Connelly as Jenny, his romantic interest. The movie centered on Cliff, a stunt pilot who gets his hands on a rocket pack. Somehow, this puts him up against Nazis and mobsters, while working with Howard Hughes and the FBI. Yeah, I know, it sounds a little bit over-the-top, but that’s the most endearing aspect of this movie. It was, in essence, a tribute to Indiana Jones, which was itself a tribute to classic pulp novels.

While the movie was a financial flop, it was able to inspire a bit of a cult following. You’ve likely seen plenty of folks cosplaying as Cliff in his suit and rocket pack at a comic convention. So, if you’ve ever been curious about where that’s come from, here’s your shot to check it out.

The inclusion of a black female lead character is a pretty incredible change. We don’t have a lot of details regarding plot or anything, as the movie’s still in early development. We do know that it’s considered a “sequel-reboot” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

[UPDATE]: Apparently there were some additional details in The Hollywood Reporter’s post about this upcoming movie. Check it out:

The new take keeps the story in a period setting and offers a fresh view on the characters. Set six years after the original Rocketeer and after Secord has vanished while fighting the Nazis, an unlikely new hero emerges: a young African–American female pilot, who takes up the mantle of Rocketeer in an attempt to stop an ambitious and corrupt rocket scientist from stealing jet-pack technology in what could prove to be a turning point in the Cold War.

Will you be checking it out when it comes out?

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Jessica Lachenal is a writer who doesn’t talk about herself a lot, so she isn’t quite sure how biographical info panels should work. But here we go anyway. She's the Weekend Editor for The Mary Sue, a Contributing Writer for The Bold Italic (thebolditalic.com), and a Staff Writer for Spinning Platters (spinningplatters.com). She's also been featured in Model View Culture and Frontiers LA magazine, and on Autostraddle. She hopes this has been as awkward for you as it has been for her.