Like all good-hearted people, we love The Rocketeer here at CraveOnline. Director Joe Johnston, who went on to helm a little movie called Captain America: The First Avenger twenty years later, helmed the original adaptation of Dave Stevens's graphic novel with Billy Campbell starring as a 1930s aerial acrobat who stumbles onto a jet pack designed by Howard Hughes, which the Nazis need to achieve world domination. The original film doesn't just hold up today, it's still thoroughly great, with a witty script, lovable characters and action sequences that make the most of the visual effects available at the time. But despite all that it was a box office dud, turning in just a tiny $11 million profit from its $35 million budget (and when you consider that marketing costs are rarely factored into movie budgets, it probably made much less than that… if anything).
Naturally, Disney wants to remake it.
Vulture reports that new Disney studio chief Alan Horn is making The Rocketeer one of the first priorities under his new regime, despite the hero's shoddy theatrical history and minimal familiarity to modern superhero fans. We'd like to think that, like us, he's just a big fan of the original and wants to introduce the property to a new generation. But it's probably more likely that The Rocketeer is one of the few superheroes Disney owns the rights to that they wouldn't have to share with Marvel Studios. If they can capitalize on the good will Marvel has built up over the years, they could have their own successful superhero franchise without having to share the profits with any other company.
Disney is expected to start meeting with screenwriters in the near future to find the right talent to develop the remake, which again, we remind you was damned near perfect the first time around. We're not going to go so far as to say that they shouldn't remake The Rocketeer, since anything is possible and it could even be a good idea, but we remind them to treat the property seriously and not f**k it up. We don't want to have to be in a situation where we're talking about how good The Rocketeer is, only to have to clarify, "But not the new one. The new one sucks."
CraveOnline will be back with more Rocketeer news, because chewing gum keeps our butt up in the air.