Bryan Andrews, director on the MCU’s new animated series What If…? has revealed that he pitched Kevin Feige an episode idea that featured The Rocketeer fighting alongside Captain America and Peggy Carter. Based on the non-Marvel comic book character created by Dave Stevens, The Rocketeer follows the adventures of stunt pilot Cliff Secord who comes into the possession of a rocket pack designed by Howard Hughes. Released by Disney in 1991, The Rocketeer was also directed by Captain America: The First Avenger’s Joe Johnston.
Starring Billy Campbell, Jennifer Connelly and Timothy Dalton, the film was ultimately considered a failure at the US box office at a time when Terminator 2: Judgement Day was coming in and breaking all kinds of records. Nonetheless, since the film’s release on home video it quickly attained a cult following, and in 2016 plans for a Rocketeer sequel with a female, African American lead were announced. Since then, updates on the film’s progress have been few and far between, but last year reports circulated that the film was still in active development for Disney+ using a script penned by Azia Squire.
If Andrews had his way, however, the character would have made his way into the MCU’s multiverse fighting Nazis alongside Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter. In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, the What If…? director revealed his pitches for several episodes which didn’t make the final cut. Check out what he had to say below:
It was also in the vein of doing something vintage and pulpy, because I love that. There were three heroes back-to-back, and they’re fighting, like, all the Nazis. It’s Cap with the super-serum, as we know him, Peggy Carter, just being her normal badass self because she doesn’t need the serum—and the Rocketeer.
Kevin was just like, ‘Uh, yeah, no, no, we’re not gonna do that. But I like the drawing!’
While the rights to The Rocketeer are still owned by Marvel’s parent company Disney, it is easy to see why Feige may not have been too keen on the idea. Potential copyright issues, or the lack thereof, aside, the fact remains that The Rocketeer has no direct relationship to the Marvel brand which already has a mountain of its own characters yet to make their way into the MCU. With Loki and What If…? opening up the endless possibilities of the multiverse, there is no need to further complicate matters by adding in additional non-Marvel characters.
As intriguing as Andrews’ concept sounded, the stories which did get selected to appear What If…? still continue to stretch the imagination and present familiar scenarios in a new and exciting light. While viewers may not ever get to see The Rocketeer fighting alongside Captain America, there are still a wealth of stories ahead with What If…? season 2 already in development. So while fans of The Rocketeer may have to wait until the sequel eventuates, Marvel fans still have plenty in store to keep them occupied over the coming year.
Source: Vanity Fair