Warner Bros. is putting its money on Travis Knight, the director of the surprise critical success Bumblebee, to helm its reboot The Six Billion Dollar Man. The Laika chief has been tapped as the new Six Billion Dollar Man director, replacing Damian Szifron after the project was picked up by Warner Bros. from the Weinstein Co. Mark Wahlberg is still set to star in the feature adaptation of beloved 1970s TV series.
Hollywood is abuzz over Travis Knight following his success at revitalizing the Transformers franchise with last year’s Bumblebee, a surprisingly modest and heartwarming film that didn’t do too bad at the box office either. Now it seems like he’s become the go-to franchise saver with his boarding The Six Billion Dollar Man, which had been stuck in development hell since the collapse of the Weinstein Co.
Variety broke the news that Travis has been tapped to direct Six Billion Dollar Man starring Mark Wahlberg, who has been attached to the project since it was under the Weinstein Co. However, following the implosion of the company amid Harvey Weinstein’s scandal, Six Billion Dollar Man was left without a studio and without a director following Damian Szifron’s departure. Warner Bros. quickly scooped up the project in 2017, and had been searching for a new director.
Based on the sci-fi TV series, then titled The Six Million Dollar Man, the story follows a “former astronaut, Colonel Steve Austin, portrayed by American actor Lee Majors” who has “superhuman strength due to bionic implants and is employed as a secret agent by a fictional U.S. government office titled OSI.” The series was inspired by Martin Caidin’s novel Cyborg and ran for five seasons from 1974 to 1978, in which time the character became a pop culture icon. A female-led spin-off, The Bionic Woman, ran for three seasons starting in 1976 and even got its own modern-day TV remake in 2007.
The feature adaptation of Six Million Dollar Man has been long coming, with several attempts made to bring it to the big screen over the years, including a failed screenplay with Kevin Smith in 1995, a scrapped comedic take with Jim Carrey in 2004, and a version developed by the original series’ Richard Anderson that met legal issues in 2006. The version starring Wahlberg was has been gestating since 2014 and has seen a revolving door of directors, including Peter Berg and Szifron. The current version of the film is being penned by The Accountant’s Bill Dubuque, with Bill Gerber, Steve Levinson, and Sue Kroll producing.
No new release date has been set by Warner Bros.
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Source: Slash Film