Dan Trachtenberg is on the up and up. After almost two decades in the film industry, he finally got his big break and feature directorial debut with this year’s well received 10 Cloverfield Lane. Next on his to-do list is the in-development The Secret Life of Houdini, but he recently revealed that he once had eyes on Disney’s The Rocketeer franchise. The original film hit theaters in 1991 to modest box office earnings, sporting a WWII setting and a relatively unknown comic book hero with an adventurous spirit and an old-timey sensibility. Despite the film’s devoted cult fan following, The Rocketeer fell off the map until the film’s director, Joe Johnston, saw success with similar material in Marvel Studio’s Captain America: The First Avenger. The very next year, word hit the street that Disney was developing a revival of The Rocketeer.
Earlier this year, word finally hit concerning the actual direction the series would take moving forward. Tentatively titled The Rocketeers, the longform sequel is set to occur six years after the original, kicking off the time period of the Cold War. The film is set to feature a young, black, female pilot taking up the hero’s mantle from the original Rocketeer. This version is being spearheaded by Matt Spicer and Max Winkler (co-writers of the upcoming Flower), but at one point Dan Trachtenberg also pitched to be involved in the Rocketeer continuation.
Trachtenberg took to Instagram last week to show off a little bit of the work he did to try to land the gig.
“Years ago I had [concept artist, Dennis Calero] draw this up for me to pitch. It was an alt-history take. Seems more relevant now.”
The suggestion that an image of Nazis invading the United States is more relevant than a few years ago is a vague but loaded sentiment. The director’s Twitter history suggests concerns over the political change-of-guard and the recently emboldened white supremacist movement. Regardless of your political beliefs, its clear that 2016 has been a concerning and polarizing year and that everyman heroes like Cliff Secord are needed now more than ever to stand up to injustice in all its forms.
As far as we know, Trachtenberg’s pitch hasn’t had a factor in the current iteration of The Rocketeers. Would you have preferred an alt-history Rocketeer vs Nazi Invasion take on a sequel, or are you more excited about the prospect of a generational Rocketeer fighting all new battles in fictional history? Let us know in the comments section, and stay tuned to Screen Rant for updates on The Rocketeer as they hit.