Mark Wahlberg's The Six Billion Dollar Man Just Made A Big Change

For a little more than a year now, Mark Wahlberg has been building a remake to the popular television series The Six Million Dollar Man, with an eye toward starring in the movie (and possibly launching a franchise). Though various obstacles have stood in its way, Wahlberg’s dream project is about to become a reality, as several big steps – and one big change – locked into step.

Wild Tales writer-director Damian Szifron, who had been tapped to write the screenplay for The Six Billion Dollar Man (with a "B"), now has been handed the directing reigns according to a press release sent out by TWC-Dimension. The release states that principal photography won’t begin on the film until September of 2016, however, as the movie won’t aim to be in theaters until December 22, 2017.

Two years from now? This could suggest a number of things. Either Mark Wahlberg’s schedule was booked up with Peter Berg’s Mile 22 (and possibly other projects that we’re not privy to at the moment – hopefully not Entourage 2), or The Six Billion Dollar Man is going to need a decent amount of time in post-production, where effects can be added to bring the hero into the 21st Century.

TWC-Dimension co-chairman Bon Weinstein said of the hire:

Damián’s unique vision and longtime passion for this story will usher in a new take on this series for a new generation. We are excited to release the film during the holidays to bring audiences an explosive reimagining of this cultural icon.

The movie will pull from two sources, according to the release. Primarily, it will be focused on the 1970s television series starring Lee Majors as a former astronaut who is "upgraded" with bionic parts and employed by our government to embark on convert missions. The show, though, also was inspired by Martin Caidin’s novel "Cyborg," and the Mark Wahlberg movie may borrow from the pages of that book, as well.

It’s easy to see how the studio would want this to be a possible franchise. If people dig Mark Wahlberg’s take on The Six Million Dollar Man, they might want to see Hollywood rebuild him (they have the technology) in multiple sequels. Also, the TV show provided a spinoff in The Bionic Woman, who easily could get her own show.

Or, this new movie could go the way of RoboCop, or this summer’s The Man from U.N.C.L.E. -- robotic dramas and old TV remakes that couldn’t drum up enough business to justify their existences. For now, how do you feel about Mark Wahlberg in the Six Billion Dollar Man movie?

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.