If you were excited for the adaptation of the Lee Majors 1970s TV series, you may want to pump your brakes. The Six Billion Dollar Man (the show was The Six Million Dollar Man, but inflation, I guess) was set to star Mark Wahlberg and have Argentinean filmmaker Damian Szifron on board to direct, but Deadline reports that Szifron has left the project over creative differences. That’s a bit surprising considering that they were gearing up to film in two months for a May 31, 2019 release date, but Warner Bros. isn’t delaying the project. They’ll now start a mad dash to find a new director and keep to the schedule.
For those unfamiliar with The Six Million Dollar Man, the show was about a former astronaut, Colonel Steve Austen, who had superhuman strength due to bionic implants (his implants cost about six million dollars, hence the title). He then went on spy missions and would get a cool sound effect every time he did something superhuman.
It’s unknown what kind of tone they’re taking with the adaptation. Presumably, it would be in the vein of an action-comedy rather than something deadly serious like Wahlberg’s recent movies.
The Six Billion Dollar Man was originally set up at The Weinstein Company, but when the company’s fortunes started failing, Warner Bros. scooped it up. The surprising thing here is that Szifron came on board to direct three years ago, so it’s a little shocking that with only two months before cameras were set to roll, he’s left the project. That’s a tough break, and I’m curious if there were minor issues that just piled up or if there was something in particular where Szifron couldn’t agree with the studio.
We’ll see if the project stays on track to make its May 31, 2019 release date. Wahlberg will be seen later this summer in the thriller Mile 22.