Mark Wahlberg’s upcoming action adventure The Six Billion Dollar Man – an upgrade of the 1970s TV series The Six Million Dollar Man – has been moved off the 2017 release schedule. Originating in 1974 as an ABC TV series, The Six Million Dollar Man starred Lee Majors as Col. Steve Austin, a test pilot who was suited with bionic limbs and high-tech implants following a near fatal crash.
The series was so successful that it spawned the spinoff series The Bionic Woman in 1976, starring Lindsay Wagner as the titular character. Both characters remained so popular after their series ended (The Six Million Dollar Man ran until 1978; The Bionic Woman until 1978) that producers brought Majors and Wagner back for a trio of TV movies in the 1980s.
Now, thanks to the star power of Wahlberg, The Six Million Dollar Man has been adjusted for inflation and is coming back in the form of The Six Billion Dollar Man. As it turns out, though, fans pining for the return of the classic sci-fi TV character will have to wait for Wahlberg’s movie version of Col. Steve Austin little longer than expected.
According to the Hollywood insider site The Tracking Board, The Six Billion Dollar Man has been removed from its Dec. 22, 2017, date on The Weinstein Company’s release calendar. The publication didn’t indicate what date the film would be coming out, except to say it would be in 2018. As for the Dec. 22 slot, TWC still has two films slated to come out that day: The Benedict Cumberbatch-Michael Shannon electricity drama The Current War, as well as the follow-up film to director Damian’s Szifron’s dramatic thriller Wild Tales from 2014.
From what The Tracking Board says, The Six Billion Dollar Man would have had to do some serious juggling in order to make its original Dec 22 release date, considering that that the film has not gone into production yet, nor has made any casting moves apart from Wahlberg.
According to IMDb, The Six Billion Dollar Man is still listed as “in development.” For the sake of argument, the publication pointed out that a quick production turnaround for a holiday 2016 release is entirely possible, citing Steven Spielberg’s upcoming The Papers as an example. The big difference, of course, is that The Papers is a drama, whereas The Six Billion Dollar Man is surely a visual effects-heavy film, which would have it nearly impossible to complete from scratch in six months.
With Wahlberg’s talents still in high-demand, it will be interested to see where The Six Billion Man ends up on his priority list, if at all. Following his role in Transformers: The Last Knight on June 21, Wahlberg only has one film in production with the sequel Daddy’s Home 2, which is slated for a Nov. 10 release. He does, however, have at least three films in the works as a producer, including director Peter Berg’s action thriller Mile 22, in which he will also star.
Source: The Tracking Board