Mark Wahlberg & Peter Berg Reteam for ‘The Six Billion Dollar Man’

By November 6, 2014
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Mark Wahlberg’s acting style has been described in many ways over the years, but as far as I know, “robotic” hasn’t been an adjective used in relation to the Boston native’s work. But that could change since the erstwhile Marky Mark will be gaining some bionic body parts in a new movie called The Six Billion Dollar Man.

Deadline reports that Wahlberg will reteam with his Lone Survivor director Peter Berg on this new film, which is based on Martin Caidin’s 1972 novel “Cyborg,” which inspired the 1970s TV series “The Six Million Dollar Man” (bionic body parts apparently cost considerably less back then). The story follows astronaut Steve Austin, who crashes in an experimental plane and has both legs, his right arm, and his left eye replaced with bionic replacements. He’s basically turned into a weapon for government use. This sounds like it could be a nice fit for both Wahlberg and Berg, so I’m holding out a bit of hope for this one.

Director Peter Berg poses for a portrait while promoting the film "Lone Survivor" in New York

I’ve read Caidin’s book, and it’s solid. It’s also an obvious precursor to RoboCop, although no one from that film has cited “Cyborg” as inspiration for Verhoeven’s movie. This is baffling to me, because although Caidin’s book doesn’t come close to the ultra-violent satire of RoboCop, the idea of an officer whose body is nearly destroyed and an employer who uses technology to replace and enhance him is ripped straight from the book. Hopefully Caidin will get proper credit for this incarnation of the story.

The ’70s TV series spawned a spinoff called “The Bionic Woman” (which NBC tried unsuccessfully to reboot a few years ago), and since seemingly every movie studio is looking to emulate the Marvel Studios formula and create interlocking cinematic universes, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a bionic woman pop up in the last few minutes of this movie to set up a sequel. Production for The Six Billion Dollar Man is slated to begin next year for a 2016 release, and we’ll keep you posted with more info as it becomes available.

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Ben is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has been featured at ScreenRant.com, FirstShowing.net, MySpace.com, GeekTyrant.com, and many more sites across the web. Some of his favorite movies include The Rocketeer, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Tombstone, Lucky Number Slevin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Collateral, Double Indemnity, Back to the Future and The Prestige. Follow him on Twitter: @BenPears.