The upcoming Mark Wahlberg film The Six Billion Dollar Man continues to have problems, as there are reports that the movie has lost the director just before it's due to start filming. The reboot of the classic '70s sci-fi series The Six Million Dollar Man has been delayed before and suffered plenty of setbacks, with this being another one to recover from if Warner Bros. still want to make the scheduled release date.
The project has been ongoing since at least 1995 when Universal were developing a screenplay for a straightforward remake, but the rights then slid to Dimension Pictures. Jim Carey was linked to a comedy re-telling of the story, which was scheduled for 2004, but that also fell through. After several other attempts to kickstart the project, it was eventually confirmed in 2015 that Mark Wahlberg was to star as the title character. The director would be Peter Berg (Lone Survivor) with the screenwriter tapped to be Damian Szifron (Wild Tales). This was later updated when Szifron was then given the director's chair as well as the writer's pen, and the release for The Six Billion Dollar Man was set for 2017. But for several reasons the film was severely delayed, and when the rights were sold to Warners Bros. the new release date was set for May 2019.
Now Deadline is reporting that the film has lost its director. Szifron had been attached to the project ever since 2015, but apparently he has been pulled from production due to "creative differences on his script," and reportedly also because of "a language barrier." Seeing as the film was due to go before cameras in only two months, it seems a drastic decision and clearly indicates that some rewrites and pre-production issues are in evidence. If Warners are to replace the Argentine filmmaker and keep to that 2019 schedule then a replacement will have to be found quickly.
The original Six Million Dollar Man series starred Lee Majors (Ash vs. Evil Dead) as the titular Colonel Steve Austin and instantly became part of pop culture during the '70s. It even spawned a successful spinoff series with The Bionic Woman. It would be interesting to see if/how this reboot would update the cyborg storyline and keep it fresh. While some similar recent reboots have been duds like Baywatch, other noticeable remakes of properties from the same era have worked well, with Westworld and Lost In Space being two examples.
Wahlberg's most recent film was All the Money in the World, which certainly also had its fair share of problems. In the meantime his next movie is Mile 22, which reteams him with Berg and is due out in August of this year. Whether we see him as Steve Austin this time next year remains up to how Warner Bros. deal with the current issues on the project. More news as we get it.
The Six Billion Dollar Man is currently scheduled for release on May 31, 2019. We'll update you if that changes.