Is Mark Wahlberg Going To Be The New Six Million Dollar Man?
Mark Wahlberg is riding high on box office success right now. Released just in the waning days of last month, Michael Bay's Transformers: Age of Extinction - in which Wahlberg stars as hero Cade Yeager - has already banked $174 million domestically and $575 million globally. While a lot of credit goes to the power of the Transformers brand and even Michael Bay's name, executives are still looking at Wahlberg now like he's a big 'ol bag of cash. It's not too hard to believe that other franchises are interesting in bringing him aboard - which is where this latest rumor comes from.
The Tracking Board is now saying that Universal is looking to bring the 1970s television series The Six Million Dollar Man to the big screen and that Mark Wahlberg is being eyed to star. What's more, they claim that Peter Berg is both producing and possibly directing. If this is true, it would be a reunion between the Lone Survivor director and star. Presumably, the film would feature Wahlberg as Steve Austin, a pilot who is involved in a terrible crash, and, with the right amount of money and the right technology, is rebuilt as a cyborg.
Thanks to the nostalgia that many possess for the original series, it should surprise none of you that this wouldn't be the first time somebody has tried to make a Six Million Dollar Man movie. The Tracking Board traces the project's story back nicely, going back to the mid-90s when Kevin Smith wrote a draft that ended up becoming a comic book series. From there it was Jim Carrey and Todd Phillips teaming up for a more comedic take in 2003, but obviously that never worked out. Following talks of a TV series reboot and a legal dispute involving the Weinstein Company, 2011 saw Leonardo DiCaprio and Bryan Singer working together on a new big screen version. Again, it failed to get past development.
While Transformers: Age of Extinction is tearing it up at the box office and breaking a few 2014 records along the way, it's not the only hit that Mark Wahlberg has had this year. The aforementioned Lone Survivor - which was given a tiny Oscar-qualifying release on Christmas of last year before expanding in January - made $125 million domestically on a tiny $40 million budget. The movie's weak spot was international markets, where the film only grossed $24 million, but they were hardly the target audience.
It's very possible that Wahlberg is fielding a lot of offers right now, but let's also not forget that he is already quite busy. He's now finishing up work on Rupert Wyatt's remake of The Gambler, but he will also soon need to get to work on Seth MacFarlane's Ted 2. He is also going to reteam with The Other Guys' Will Ferrell In Daddy's Home, a comedy that will pit the latter as a kind, sweethearted step dad against the former, as a layabout asshole biological dad. It's possible that movie could shoot this fall.
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