Six million dollars is a lot of money, more than most of us will make over the course of our entire lives, but compared to what it was in the years between 1973 and 1978, when The Six Million Dollar Man aired on ABC, it’s not much. In that spirit, the show, which is the subject of an upcoming cinematic remake, because everything gets a remake, is getting an upgrade due to inflation. Now titled The Six Billion Dollar Man—while $6 million seems a little low, $6 billion feels a bit excessive—the Weinstein Company-backed picture has also added a major movie star, in the form of Mark “Marky Mark” Wahlberg.
Deadline reports that Wahlberg, who has previously been linked to the role made famous by Lee “The Manliest Man To Ever Be A Man” Majors, will indeed play the title role (Mark Wahlberg is no Lee Majors). This will reteam the Transformers: Age of Extinction star with his Lone Survivor director Peter Berg, who, let us not forget, also directed Battleship.
From what we know, the story of the movie is essentially the same as the show. Wahlberg will play former astronaut Steve Austin—I was so confused for a short time when the professional wrestler came to prominence in the 1990s. Mortally wounded when an experimental plane crashes, he goes the RoboCop route, getting rebuilt by doctors who replace extremities, including both legs, his right arm, and left eye, with powerful bionic add-ons. He uses his newfound abilities to fight for justice under the banner of the Office of Scientific Intelligence.
Production is slated to kick off sometime in next year, and Berg, who will produce along with Bob Weinstein for Dimension Films, has an eye on a 2016 release, probably sometime in the summer months, as this seems tailor made for a big blockbuster style roll out.
Based on the book Cyborg by Martin Caidin, there’s no word on if the script for the film follows that source or simply reworks the what happens in the popular series. I, for one, certainly hope that Wahlberg’s Steve Austin has the chance to throw down with Bigfoot like he does in the series. Why wouldn’t you want that in your movie.
While this seems ripe for parody—John Francis Daley from Freaks and Geeks actually wrote a spoof a few years back called The 40,000 Dollar Man—it appears that this is going to be a straight, serious adaptation. We’ll have to see how that plays.
My biggest hope for The Six Billion Dollar Man, aside from the Bigfoot thing, is that it ultimately leads to a Bionic Woman spin off.