Mark Wahlberg could be the new Six Million Dollar Man

Mark Wahlberg

There's a report out there that claims The Six Million Dollar Man is being rebooted and Mark Wahlberg could be the actor getting the expensive upgrade.

A production news site called The Tracking Board claims that Universal Pictures is getting ready to bring the popular 1970s TV series to the big screen, with the star of the current Transformers: Age of Extinction being courted to take on the role of Steve Austin, an astronaut whose body is rebuilt (better, stronger, faster) with cybernetics after a near-fatal crash in an aircraft.

The film may be directed by Peter Berg, whose previous sci-fi outings include Battleship and Hancock, and who tried to get a movie version of Dune off the ground a few years ago (he's involved with the HBO series The Leftovers as well).

The original series was based on a novel called Cyborg by Martin Caidin and kicked off with three TV movies in 1973 before settling in as a regular series for five seasons, from 1974 to 1978. Star Lee Majors became a pop-culture icon as a result of the show, which also spun off The Bionic Woman (1976-1978, with a remake in 2007) and a few more TV movies in the late '80s and early '90s.

It was the mid-'90s when talk of a feature film began and Kevin Smith was hired to write a screenplay. That went nowhere, as did a proposed comedic take in 2003 that was meant to star Jim Carrey. Plans for a straight reboot have been lurking around since 2006, but got held up by rights issues: Universal owns the TV show, while Harvey Weinstein bought the rights to the original book somewhere along the line.

The rights got sorted out three years ago and the movie almost got off the ground with Bryan Singer directing and Leonardo DiCaprio starring as Austin, but once again the project fell through. It's amazing that anything ever gets made in Hollywood, isn't it?

If The Six Million Dollar Man does get made into a movie now, it's a subject that actually could be very relevant to our times as we continue to make advances in fusing human flesh with technology. One thing's for sure, though: The title will have to change to at least The Six Billion Dollar Man -- $6 million won't get even a cyborg very far these days.

(via Total Film)