Disney to Remake/ Reboot The Rocketeer

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Captaindemotion, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The original might not be perfect, but I'd still rank it higher than a lot of superhero movies made today (yes, even some of the Marvel ones). And I seriously doubt they'd ever be able to improve on the actors, costume, tone, or music score.

    I'm still willing to see what they come up with, of course, but I don't have high hopes.
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Nothing is being messed with. They're not re-editing the 1991 movie or redubbing its dialogue or replacing its special effects with CGI or anything. That film remains exactly as it was. But that film was an adaptation of a comic book which was an ongoing series (though an intermittent one whose entire run was small enough to fit in a single omnibus volume), and the comics' character was inspired in turn by the "Rocketman" protagonists of several 1940s-50s adventure serials. So the character is intrinsically rooted in the serial format, and thus there's absolutely no reason why there can't be more than one story about him onscreen. Heck, the ending of the '91 movie makes it clear that the filmmakers hoped there would be sequels. It took a generation, but now Disney is ready to do a second Rocketeer film, maybe finally get a franchise going as they failed to do two decades ago, and I don't see how that's a bad thing.


    I find that a completely bizarre statement. Why would people "question the impetus" behind reviving a popular character whose first movie a generation ago wasn't as successful as it was hoped? Why is that something that has to be justified or defended? The Rocketeer is a cool character in his own right. The '91 movie was a respectable but flawed attempt at an adaptation, and for all its cult classic status now, it fizzled at the box office and never earned the sequels that its makers and fans hoped to see. It was a good try that didn't quite work. That's all the justification the studio needs to make a second try.

    And the idea of folding him into the MCU makes no sense whatsodamnever. He's not a Marvel character and never has been. He doesn't inhabit a universe of superheroes and supervillains. Stevens's Rocketeer comics implicitly took place in the universe of pulp heroes like Doc Savage and the Shadow, though he presented those characters anonymously to avoid copyright violations, and also took place in a world that was an amalgam of 1930s-50s Hollywood culture, with major characters who were based on, or actually meant to be, real actors of the era. Stevens created his own world for the series, with its own distinct flavor, and assimilating it into the Marvel Universe would not serve it at all.
     
  3. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Christopher, I guess I see a new Rocketeer film the same way that a lot of people saw The Amazing Spider-Man. I just don't see the point. However, I should probably take a wait-and-see approach, out of practicality, and stop complaining sight-unseen.
     
  4. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Please. Rocky Horror, The Big Lebowski, and Harold and Maude are cult classics. The Rocketeer is a kinda-fondly-remembered by genre fans only box-office bomb that really isn't any better than "pretty good".



    So long as Disney has total rights to the Rocketeer character, why wouldn't they?



    I think DigificWriter has pretty clearly just announced himself Grand Vizier of Hollywood Culture. If he doesn't see why a new Rocketeer movie should be made, isn't that all any of us need to know?



    As much as I admire your grasp of the source material, I think this statement rejects DigificWriter's "no sequel" dogma only to replace it with an equally abitraily inflexible "the next adaptation must adhere to the source material" dogma of your own. Maybe we could wait for the process to play out, and judge the result on its own merits? :p



    ... That said, in the interests of creativity, I would like to present a motion that the rocketeer be a dame this time around. (The Bettie Page-esque love interest can stay.)
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    And I think the point is obvious. Like I said, the Rocketeer is a series character. We're not talking about something like Casablanca or King Kong where there's a single key story to be told and following up on it would be pointless. We're talking about a character who's had multiple stories told about him in the comics, who's got new comics stories coming out even now, and whose only screen story to date was his origin story -- a story that was supposed to lead into others but never got the chance to. I'd think that most Rocketeer fans would be disappointed that they never got more movies, and at least guardedly glad that they may finally see that happen.



    First off, who says they have those rights? Having film rights isn't the same as owning a character outright.

    Second, the question isn't "why wouldn't they," but "why would they?" Should they have Mickey Mouse and Buzz Lightyear join the Avengers just because it's all under the Disney corporate umbrella? (Although actually that might be kinda cool...) Corporate ownership is not, in and of itself, a legitimate creative reason for combining different characters or universes. And there's no reason why it's a bad thing for one publisher or movie studio to have multiple separate realities under its aegis. There can be value to a shared continuity, but that doesn't mean it's a good idea for that continuity to spread cancerously and engulf everything whether it makes sense together or not. Put another way, there's no reason why the MCU should be the only worthwhile thing in Disney/Marvel's cinematic stable. Diversity is a good thing.


    Oh, that's certainly not what I meant to say. I'm not talking about the rigid details of continuity. I'm all for reinventing a concept when it's adapted, but the ideal is to find a way to tell the story in a fresh way while still serving its core essence and style. What The Rocketeer did was something very different from what Marvel superhero comics do, so I don't see where DigificWriter could possibly have gotten the idea that folding it into the MCU is the only possible way to make it justifiable. That's just a complete non sequitur. The way for this to be a "justifiable" project is for it to be a good interpretation of the character and world that Stevens created. Not a copy, of course, but something that reflects the spirit of the original. And there's no reason why tying it into the MCU would be the "only" way to do that, any more than tying it into the Saw franchise or Alvin and the Chipmunks or any other random media franchise that it has nothing to do with.
     
  6. Brikar99

    Brikar99 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I openly welcome a new 'Rocketeer' adventure.
     
  7. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I also threw in the possibility of the Rocketeer being linked to the MCU when I opened the thread, basically as a throwaway 'What if?'

    I've no strong views on this taking place and I'd be quite happy if it's a completely standalone movie. However, I think it could be done well, even if it doesn't have to be done. Instead of using Howard Hughes as the inventor, you could have it be invented by Howard Stark (though I suppose given how young and vibrant he was in Captain America, there'd be no reason why he wouldn't be using the rocket pack himself).

    I don't think 'It wasn't in the original source material' is any better a reason to exclude it than 'It would be cool if we could do this' is a reason to include it. If it serves the story and helps the movie and they do it well, they could do it. After all, it's not like he's going to be interacting with all the other MCU heroes back in 1930-something. But if it's coming from the MCU stable and is promoted as such, it might help the movie do better at the box office.

    Though what I'd really like to see is a shared cinematic universe that features The Rocketeer, The Phantom, The Shadow and Doc Savage...
     
  8. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    :ack:
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yeah, but that's different from saying it's the only possible way for the project not to be a crime against humanity or whatever.


    Making Hughes the inventor was a conceit of the movie. In the comics, the rocket pack was created by the pulp adventure hero Doc Savage. He wasn't actually identified by name in the comic, to avoid copyright problems, but evidently Disney didn't think that was taking it far enough and replaced the character altogether.


    Well, that's not an issue, seeing as how Cliff out-and-out stole the rocket pack so he could impress his girlfriend with it.


    But you could say the same about any other movie vis-a-vis a popular franchise. Why that franchise in particular? Just because Joe Johnston directed Captain America? Just because Disney owns them both? Those seem like tenuous reasons. How would it serve the story? And I mean the story, not the box office.


    Well, there certainly is precedent for that, since apparently Savage and Lamont Cranston were both in the comics, though anonymously to avoid licensing fees or copyright infringement. So making it work cinematically would be a complicated and expensive effort. Let's see, Stevens's estate owns the Rocketeer, King Features Syndicate owns the Phantom, and Condé Nast owns the trademarks on the Shadow and Doc Savage (and is very protective of them, from what I can find online). It would probably be prohibitively expensive to pull together the licenses.
     
  10. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^I'm not under any illusions that it will happen, simply that it would be nice to see it happen if it did (the 'Pulp-verse, for want of a better expression).

    As to the Marvel connection if any, I didn't say it would serve the story, simply that if it did, they could go along with it. As I said at the start of the post, I've no strong views on it.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yeah, I know. I was just trying to find some way to comment on the subject that would be more substantial than just "Yeah, that'd be cool." And since I'm an analytical fellow, my reaction was to think about the logistics of making such a thing happen.
     
  12. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^Fair enough. And it saved me having to google the rights issue myself. :)
     
  13. Samurai8472

    Samurai8472 Vice Admiral Admiral

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  14. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, I wouldn't be interested in another remake that spends the first hour on the origin that much. Why do just do a sequel to the original?:confused:
     
  15. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Everyone is too old for a sequel to the original.
     
  16. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    They should just recast all the characters.
     
  17. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    The movie came out 21 years ago, and was a box office disappointment. Disney isn't doing another film to cater to the small audience that remembers the original (which includes me, but I have no illusions about my importance to the Hollywood studios).
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The original was 21 years ago -- and the new film would be at least a year from now, maybe longer. And again, the original film was not a success. It cost $40 million to make and only made $47 million domestically -- which makes it a pretty big flop. It's only at 61% on Rotten Tomatoes and 6.3/10 on IMDb. I personally liked it well enough, but it's not some world-famous, timeless classic like Psycho, where you could come back decades later and do a direct sequel. It's a relatively minor film from a generation ago, and though it has its loyal fans, it isn't hugely popular or well-known among modern moviegoing audiences as a whole. So of course they're going to start over from scratch rather than doing a sequel.

    EDIT: Or, what Harvey said.
     
  19. gblews

    gblews Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    They damn well better keep the "Randolph Scott" styled leather jacket -- one of the coolest things about the original. :cool:
     
  20. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Vice Admiral Admiral

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    $$$$$$$

    That's the reason to do ANYTHING in Hollywood. And in this case, I'm GLAD they see $$ potential in the Rocketeer. I LOVED, ADORED the first movie and was disappointed it didn't do better. So, I look forward to this new one. Hopefully it will be similar in spirit.

    And there's a a big difference between THIS remake and the Amazing Spiderman... 21 years difference.
     

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