Retroplex Cinema: The Rocketeer (1991)

Retroplex Cinema returns with the 3rd and final film in our series of comic book films that you may have never seen.  We began with Swamp Thing, then The Phantom, and now, The Rocketeer.

The Rocketeer (1991)
The Rocketeer is a 1991 American period superhero adventure film produced by Walt Disney Pictures and based on the character of the same name created by comic book writer/artist Dave Stevens. Directed by Joe Johnston, the film stars Billy Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, Alan Arkin, Timothy Dalton, Paul Sorvino and Tiny Ron Taylor. Set in 1938 Los Angeles, California, The Rocketeer tells the story of stunt pilot Cliff Secord who discovers a jet pack that enables him to fly. His heroic deeds attract the attention of Howard Hughes and the FBI, as well as sadistic Nazi operatives.  The film was released June 21, 1991 and received mostly favorable reviews.  However poor box office made the film seem like a flop, but it has found a home on video over the years!
Origins
Comic book writer/artist Dave Stevens created The Rocketeer in 1982 and immediately viewed the character as an ideal protagonist for a film adaptation.  The Rocketeer takes place in 1938 Los Angeles, where Cliff Secord, a local racing pilot and barnstormer, discovers a mysterious package hidden by two gangsters, who were fleeing the police. In that package Cliff finds what the police were looking for: a stolen rocket-pack prototype. The character was a direct homage to the movie serials of the 1930's, 40's, and 50's so it would take the right people to bring the film to life and remain faithful to the source material.  Eventually Disney would be the studio that bought into the idea and after some convincing that a period piece about a super hero could work, the film version finally got made.  All though not a success at the box office, the film has found a cult following throughout the years and in 2011 received a 20th Anniversary Blu-Ray release.  The Rocketeer comics and magazines are still highly sought after as well due to the cult following of the character.
The Future Of The Rocketeer
Recently IDW Publishing has created a whole new series of comics based on The Rocketeer.  IDW also collected many of the old original stories from the 1980's into hardcover and trade collections for new generations to enjoy.  As for future films, Disney has talked about a reboot in the works, but nothing solid has been confirmed.  Until then seek out a copy of this film and watch it for pure enjoyment.  It's quite a fun ride and a comic book movie that is not to be missed!  Watch the film's trailer and check out other goodies below until next time on Retroplex Cinema!











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