Now that he is the new human face of Michael Bay’s Transformers series with a leading role in Age of Extinction, Mark Wahlberg finally seems to have a viable franchise going for him (along with Ted 2), after the ill-fated Max Payne movie proved ultimately forgettable, and presumed follow-ups to The Italian Job and Planet of the Apes never materialized.
Transformers 4 has its detractors, but the film’s worldwide box office take is edging toward $600 million, and with Wahlberg coming off of the (mostly) well-received 2 Guns and Lone Survivor – both of which were successful at the box office – his star is arguably as high as it’s ever been. Thus, now is as good a time as any for Wahlberg to potentially latch onto a brand name reboot with franchise potential.
According to a report by The Tracking Board, Universal Pictures is looking at Mark Wahlberg to star in their big screen update of the famous television series The Six Million Dollar Man. The star’s Lone Survivor director Peter Berg is said to be attached to produce (and maybe direct), with Harvey Weinstein also supposedly involved. Miramax obtained the rights to Martin Caidan’s novel Cyborg, the show’s source material, and Weinstein apparently retained the rights after leaving the company.
It should be noted that there is currently no official confirmation of this news, so take it with some salt. For those of you born well after the 1970s, The Six Million Dollar Man starred Lee Majors as astronaut Steve Austin, who was “rebuilt” following a crash-landing of an experimental aircraft and used his enhanced abilities to work for the fictional Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI). Following three TV movies, the show ran on ABC from 1974-1978 and became a fixture in pop culture, inspiring the spinoff series The Bionic Woman, which itself saw a short-lived 2007 reboot series.
A Six Million Dollar Man remake has been kicking around Hollywood for a very long time. A decade ago, Jim Carrey was attached to star in a comedy-themed remake called The Six Million Dollar Comedian from The Hangover director Todd Phillips, and more recently, X-Men: Days of Future Past helmer Bryan Singer was to direct with Leonard DiCaprio in the lead.
Given Hollywood’s ongoing interest in building franchises with brand name recognition and a (theoretically) built-in fan base, a Six Million Dollar Man reboot seems like a safe bet on paper. Still, it seems that for every successful update of a long-dormant property (21 Jump Street), there is another that completely bombs (The Lone Ranger).
This particular property is relatively recent, though, and with a charismatic star like Wahlberg as Steve Austin (arguably a far better fit for the role than DiCaprio) paired with a solid action director in Peter Berg, The Six Million Dollar Man could be successfully rebuilt for today’s audiences. They have the technology, after all.
The Six Million Dollar Man is currently in development.
Source: The Tracking Board