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Disney rebooting The Rocketeer with black woman in the lead

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A new hero for a new age

The Rocketeer movie poster Disney via Buyenlarge/Moviepix/Getty Images

The Rocketeer, the 1991 action film from Walt Disney Pictures, is being rebooted with plans to reimagine the title character as a black woman, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Disney has hired Max Winkler and Matt Spicer to write the script for the film, which The Hollywood Reporter says is "in the early development stages." Called The Rocketeers, the reboot is being produced by Brigham Taylor (The Jungle Book), as well as two athletes: the Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin and the Carolina Panthers’ Ryan Kalil.

Although casting a black woman as the Rocketeer is an idea for modern audiences, the plot of The Rocketeers will reportedly remain in the same time period as the original film, which took place in 1938. Here’s the synopsis from The Hollywood Reporter:

Set six years after the original Rocketeer and after [original protagonist Cliff] Secord has vanished while fighting the Nazis, an unlikely new hero emerges: a young African–American female pilot, who takes up the mantle of Rocketeer in an attempt to stop an ambitious and corrupt rocket scientist from stealing jetpack technology in what could prove to be a turning point in the Cold War.

The Rocketeer starred Billy Campbell as the titular superhero and his alter ego, a stunt pilot named Cliff Secord. It was based on a comic book character created by Dave Stevens in the early 1980s, with Stevens’ stories being inspired by the pulp action serials of the 1930s and ’40s. Disney’s film premiered in June 1991 and made only $46.7 million on a production budget of $40 million, but it has since gained a passionate fan base.