Mark's Wahlberg's The Six Billion Dollar Man just got delayed over a year. The news shouldn't come as too much of a surprise given that Damian Szifron exited as director only a few weeks ago. The setback is just one more incident in a project that has seemingly been plagued by problems and issues since the 1990s, but Warner Bros. is determined to see the movie made. The upcoming film is a remake of ABC's The Six Million Dollar Man TV series, which starred Lee Majors as the titular cyborg. The original show aired from 1973-1978 and produced a spinoff titled The Bionic Woman.
Although there were some TV movies in the 1980s, a big-screen remake has been in development since 1995. Universal was originally developing the project, but the rights eventually went to Dimension Pictures, who wanted to make it a comedy reboot with Jim Carey. After multiple attempts, Wahlberg ended up signing on in the lead role in 2015 with his frequent collaborator, Peter Berg, taking the helm. Unfortunately, Berg exited the film after some time, with screenwriter Damian Szifron taking over directing duties. But, The Weinstein Company's bankruptcy forced them to sell the rights to Warner Bros. And now that Szifron has also departed, the studio has been forced to set a new release date for the project.
The Six Billion Dollar Man was originally slated to release in May 2019, but without an immediate replacement for Szifron, Warner Bros. has delayed the movie a full year to June 5, 2020. Warner Bros. previously staked out the 2020 date for an untitled DC Extended Universe film, but it seems the studio has other plans in the meantime.
Although The Six Billion Dollar Man is having trouble keeping a director, Mark Wahlberg is still said to be attached to the project as the lead character, a cybernetically-enhanced Col. Steve Austin. The actor will next be seen in Berg's Mile 22 in August, which pairs him up with his Lone Survivor and Deepwater Horizon director again, and looks like a return to pure gritty action. After all the issues with his last movie, All the Money in the World, Wahlberg could probably do with a break from backstage drama.
For those who want to see what an updated version of The Bionic Man will look like, there is, at least, one small positive point to take away. Rather than just cancelling the project, Warners Bros. has acknowledged the project's issues and has given themselves plenty of time to find a new director. So, there must be some confidence in the production for them to continue with it. With the last attempt at a reboot of the franchise being the ill-fated Bionic Woman in 2007, perhaps 2020 will turn out to be the year that The Six Billion Dollar Man finally reaches theaters.
Source: Warner Bros.