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The Rocketeer is getting a reboot starring a black female pilot

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Disney has plans to reboot its 1991 cult classic The Rocketeer — but with a modern twist. The Hollywood Reporter reports that the studio is developing the movie, this time called The Rocketeers, with a black female lead in mind.

According to THR, the new effort is being written by screenwriting partners Matt Spicer and son of The Fonz Max Winkler. The story, set six years after the original, will follow a young African-American pilot who takes up the mantle of the Rocketeer to protect the jetpack technology from an evil scientist bent on turning the tide of the Cold War.

Reviving a cult classic

The film is still early in its development, but Disney has reportedly been bullish on the project since seeing fans of the original come out in force to a screening celebrating the original's 20th anniversary. The Rocketeer, directed by Captain America: The First Avenger director Joe Johnston, was adapted from Dave Stevens 1980s comic series of the same name. The film was a loving tribute to the pulpy serials of the 1930s and '40s, from the soundtrack all the way down to the Art Deco typography used for the title. While it was mild flop at the time, it eventually earned an adoring following:

Casting a black woman to star in the followup allows Disney to keep the property alive while also creating an avenue for a new perspective from the same period. Needless to say, we're pretty excited about this movie.