It’s still quite a ways away, but The Six Billion Dollar Man (that’s billion with a ‘b’), starring Mark Wahlberg, has a release date. The Weinstein Co. has scheduled the film adaptation based on the cyborg TV series starring Lee Majors to open in December 2017, reports THR. Screenwriter Damian Szifron will now helm the project, replacing Peter Berg, who was previously attached.
The movie is based on the 1970s TV series, The Six Million Dollar Man, which itself was adapted from the 1972 sci-fi novel Cyborg by Martin Caidin. Both focus on Steve Austin, an astronaut healed with bionic parts after suffering severe injuries in a terrible accident. With his high-tech upgrades, Austin is suddenly a powerful tool to the government, so he ends up working as a secret agent.
The TV series places the cost of the operation at $6 million, but clearly times have changed; the movie has opted for a more impressive price tag (because a million dollars just doesn’t go as far these days, you know). Austin will likely get other new upgrades in the latest version of the story. As Wahlberg said in a press release, “We look forward to creating a Steve Austin for the 21st century.”
In addition to the latest project, The Six Million Dollar Man also spawned three television movies, which aired in the late ’80s and early ’90s, plus a spin-off series called The Bionic Woman. (The latter was also remade as a 2007 TV series.) Should the Wahlberg movie be as popular as the early TV series, it certainly seems like there’s potential for more installments in the franchise on the horizon.
Szifron, the writer behind the upcoming film adaptation, will begin production in September 2016, with TWC-Dimension’s Matthew Singer and Keith Levine overseeing. The Six Billion Dollar Man will open on Dec. 22, 2017.