A new version of “The Rocketeer” is in the works at Walt Disney Studios, TheWrap has learned.
In the very early development phase, filmmakers are seeking to cast a black female lead.
The 1991 Touchstone-Disney film, based on a 1980s comic book, starred white actress Jennifer Connelly as the female lead.
But in this new version, tentatively called “The Rocketeers,” the leading lady is no damsel in distress. Instead she takes over the mantel for Cliff Secord, who was last seen six years ago fighting Nazis.
Billy Campbell played Cliff, a.k.a. The Rocketeer, in the original.
The project is being considered a “sequel reboot” of the 1991 action film.
The new story is centered around 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.
Relative newcomers Max Winkler (Henry Winkler‘s son, who wrote and directed 2010’s “Ceremony”) and Matthew Spicer are writing the script.
Brigham Taylor (“The Jungle Book”) is producing along with L.A. Clippers basketball star Blake Griffin and Carolina Panthers football player Ryan Kalil.
Disney’s Tendo Nagenda and Chaz Salembier are supervising the project.