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Thirty years ago, Disney released The Rocketeer. It was not a major box office success, grossing only $46 million, but it became a cult classic to fans. Finally, after three decades, Disney is working on a sequel. The Return of the Rocketeer will star and be produced by British-born actor David Oyelowo, OBE.

Who is David Oyelowo and Where Do I Know that Name From?

David Oyelowo has previous Disney experience. He voiced Agent Alexsandr Kallus in Star Wars Rebels and Scar in The Lion Guard. He starred as King Seretse Khama in the interracial romance A United Kingdom. Oyelowo starred as Robert Katende in Disney’s Queen of Katwe. He was Dr. Junju in The Last King of Scotland. In George Lucas’ Redtails, Oyelowo played Lt. Joe “Lightning” Little. He was also the school principal in Interstellar, and starred as Kiel in The Cloverfield Paradox. American audiences will probably recognize him as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Selma, for which he won a Golden Globe Award and the NAACP Image Award. British audiences will probably remember him as Danny Hunter in Spooks (aka MI-5).

According to our distinguished colleagues at Deadline, David Oyelowo will be a retired Tuskegee Airman who takes over the mantle of the Rocketeer.

{image via Disney}

Who is The Rocketeer?

In the original movie, the Rocketeer was stunt pilot Cliff Secord (played by Billy Campbell, Dr. Alan Farragut in Helix, Det. Jack Crowe in Meteor), who literally stumbled over a stolen jetpack. He had to protect it from the gangsters who stole it from Howard Hughes, from Hughes himself, the FBI after the gangsters, and Nazi spies and saboteurs. David Oyelowo will be playing a different character than Secord, rather like Sam Wilson becoming the new Captain America. If Oyelowo is an ex-Tuskagee Airman, the movie will either be set in the late ’40s or the 1950s.

Who Else Is Involved?

Also producing will be Brigham Taylor and David’s wife, Jessica Oyelowo. “Blake Griffin, Ryan Kalil and Noah Weinstein at Mortal Media are executive producing.” Also producing will be Brigham Taylor and David’s wife, Jessica Oyelowo. Edward Ricourt is writing the script for The Return of the Rocketeer. Ricourt wrote Now You See Me (2013) and was a scriptwriter and consulting producer for Jessica Jones.

Entertainment journalist Joshua Meyer of Slashfilm called the original Rocketeer “one of the best comic book movies of the late 20th century.” The original movie was loosely based on the comicbook series by Dave Stevens. The Rocketeer’s first adventure appeared in 1982 as a backup feature in issues #2 and #3 of Mike Grell’s Starslayer series from Pacific Comics. On February 28, 2009, IDW Publishing announced a hardcover collecting the entire series for the first time, intended to be published in October 2009. Dave Stevens’ The Rocketeer: The Complete Adventures contained new coloring by Laura Martin, who had been chosen by Dave Stevens prior to his death.

Current plans for The Return of the Rocketeer is for it to be released on Disney+, but it’s not impossible for it to end up with a theater debut.

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Susan Macdonald
Susan Macdonald

Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as short stories in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, “Supernatural Colorado”, “Barbarian Crowns”, “Cat Tails””Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions,  Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.

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