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Disney announces long-awaited 'sequel-reboot' to 'The Rocketeer'
Billy Campbell as Cliff and Alan Arkin as Peevy in 1991's The Rocketeer. - photo by Jeff Peterson
Far more than comics, San Diego Comic-Con is mostly famous these days as a major venue for movie studios to drop announcements about their highest-profile releases comic-related or not.

This year was no different, with surprise trailers for Justice League and Wonder Woman, casting reveals such as Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, and the first footage from Kong: Skull Island all making waves during the convention, which ran July 19-23.

But amid all the headline-grabbing presentations from big production companies such as Marvel and DC, one comic book movie announcement may have gotten lost in the noise: The Rocketeers, a sequel-reboot, according to The Hollywood Reporter, to Disneys 1991 family-oriented adventure film The Rocketeer, singular.

Based on the 1980s indie comic by Dave Stevens, the original 1991 Rocketeer, which starred Billy Campbell as the titular jetpack-wearing hero alongside Jennifer Connelly, Timothy Dalton and Alan Arkin, is frequently named as one of Disneys most underrated movies. Some even regard it to this day as one of the best comic book adaptations which is far more impressive now than it was when it was originally released, a full 10 years before the modern superhero craze even kicked off.

The Rocketeer followed Cliff Secord, an ace pilot who accidentally comes into possession of a prototype rocket pack developed by Howard Hughes and subsequently finds himself thrust into a plot involving Nazi spies, the FBI and a battle for world domination.

Unfortunately, The Rocketeer underperformed at the box office, opening in fourth place in its first weekend, according to Box Office Mojo.

Over the last 25 years, though, its "unironic" approach and nostalgic, old-Hollywood setting have helped it build up a passionate fan base. For a 20th-anniversary screening at the El Capitan Theater in 2011, hundreds of fans lined up to see it, including filmmaker Kevin Smith, who called it "the finest comic book adaptation, I've felt, of all time," according to The Hollywood Reporter.

It also helped land its director, Joe Johnston, directing duties on another World War II-set, Disney-produced superhero flick, namely Captain America: The First Avenger. The similarities between the two properties are pretty hard to miss, although its not clear that Captain America managed to improve at all on the earlier film.

The new Rocketeer movie, according to a plot summary provided by The Hollywood Reporter, is set to take place six years after the events of the original movie. Secord has mysteriously disappeared while fighting Nazis and a new pilot a young African-American woman steps up to take on the mantle of the Rocketeer to thwart a corrupt rocket scientist and change the course of the Cold War.

Not a lot else is known at this point, but fans of family-oriented adventure films, especially ones that evoke the old serials of the 1930s and '40s like the original Star Wars movies and Indiana Jones, have every reason to be excited.
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