December 16th, 2011
12:38 PM ET
In honor of the 20th anniversary of "The Rocketeer," Disney has released the beloved film on Blu-ray.
Hollywood in the 1930s serves as the backdrop for this slice of nostalgia in which test pilot Cliff Secord (Billy Campbell) discovers a top-secret jet pack. With the help of his mechanic mentor, Peevy (Alan Arkin), Cliff is propelled from ordinary guy to a superhero, aptly named The Rocketeer.
Cliff finds himself on a dangerous mission replete with ruthless villains, Hollywood starlets, gangsters and Nazi spies. With the help of his girlfriend, Jenny (Jennifer Connelly), Cliff foils an evil plot to take over the world.
CNN spoke to Billy Campbell, who played the title role in what was the actor's first feature film. Campbell also spoke to us about AMC's "The Killing," in which he plays mayoral candidate-turned-murder suspect Darren Richmond. He is currently filming season 2.
CNN: Looking back, can you believe it's been 20 years?And what are some of your fondest memories of "The Rocketeer" in retrospect?
Billy Campbell: There are too many! I had the time of my life on that movie. It was my first film ever, and I met and worked with a lot of great people and developed some fine friendships. It's a never-ending source of joy for me, the fact of that film… I love that people love it, and I can't wait to see it myself on Blu-ray. I saw the remastered version when we did the 20th anniversary screening at the El Capitan and it just holds up so well. I hope everybody enjoys it again as much as I enjoyed making it… it's a really warm and fuzzy memory for me - the whole thing.
CNN: Do you think "The Rocketeer" would have been even more popular if it had been released during today's superhero craze era?
BC: I don't know, to tell you the truth...I'm not sure that it didn't do well because there was no craze or thirst for that kind of thing. I think the fact that it didn't do well was kind of understandable, and I'm not sure that the marketing campaign for it was altogether as well thought out as it should have been.
But it opened within two weeks of "Terminator 2" and "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves." It had no big-name stars in lead roles. It was a period movie. It had all sorts of things to overcome, and the fact that it didn't do well is not a black mark on the movie, I think, because to this day, the people who did like it feel really strongly about it - they love it."
CNN: Do you think it would be a good candidate for a remake, and if so, would you want to participate in some way?
BC: I think it's a great candidate for a remake! I would love to participate in it, though I'm not sure how - I'm a little long in the tooth, of course, to play "The Rocketeer," but who knows? I'd love to be part of it, even if it's just a small role or cameo. I think it's a prime candidate for a remake. Let's see, 20 years later would be the 1950s - we could do something about the Korean War. But who knows?
CNN: The season finale of "The Killing" had a last-minute plot twist that was all about your character, Darren Richmond - can you give us any inkling about what the upcoming season has in store?
BC: What I can say is that they've really upped the ante in the first few scripts of this season. It's really, really intense. I can say that the whole hoopla about not finding out exactly who killed Rosie Larsen at the end of last season shall be resolved this season. As intense as last season was, season 2 is proving, so far, to be even more intense. It is, without a doubt, the most fascinating thing I've ever been a part of. It's truly a tremendous show.
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