After a decade under the reins of Michael Bay, the Transformers film franchise finally brought on a new director for its latest installment, Bumblebee. Under Travis Knight’s watchful eye, Bumblebee came together as a critically acclaimed blockbuster movie that collected over $466 million worldwide. While some may have hoped he’d tackle a Bumblebee sequel next, Knight is instead turning his attention to a different kind of blockbuster as a follow-up: The Six Billion Dollar Man.
Although the original TV series starring Lee Majors was called The Six Million Dollar Man, thanks to inflation, it’s going to take a lot more money than that to turn the cinematic version of Colonel Steve Austin into a bionic powerhouse… but I digress. For nearly two decades, there have been various versions of The Six Billion Dollar Man in development, with Warner Bros trying to get its own version off the ground since buying the film rights from The Weinstein Company in late 2017.
Alas, by May 2018, director Damian Szifron, who joined The Six Billion Dollar Man in 2015 following the departure of Peter Berg and co-wrote the script, also exited the project due to creative differences. That put the kibosh on Warner Bros plans to begin shooting The Six Billion Dollar Man that summer.
Shortly after Damian Szifron left The Six Billion Dollar Man, it was reported that Mel Gibson was “circling” the part of Steve Austin’s mentor, Oscar Goldman, and should he have taken the role, Warner Bros might also have courted him to direct. However, almost a year later, Variety is reporting that Travis Knight, who’s also well-known for his work on Kubo and the Two Strings, will handle directing duties on The Six Billion Dollar Man instead. Mark Wahlberg is still attached to star.
It’s unclear if Travis Knight will use the same script that Damian Szifron or if he plans on overhauling the story, but given how well Bumblebee was received last winter, it’s fortunate Warner Bros was able to recruit him. Of course, given how many directors have come and gone before him, we’ll have to wait and see if Knight is indeed the one who guides this movie into principal photography or if he also ends up eventually leaving.
While no specific plot details about The Six Billion Dollar Man have been made available to the public yet, the movie is expected to retain the basic premise of its TV predecessor, which was based on the Martin Caidin novel Cyborg. The TV show followed Steve Austin, an astronaut who was horribly injured while piloting an experimental aircraft, being “rebuilt” with bionic implants that increased his strength, speed and vision. Austin subsequently used these new special abilities as an agent for OSI (Office of Scientific Intelligence).
Although The Six Billion Dollar Man was last scheduled to come out on May 31, 2019, obviously that won’t come to pass, so keep an eye on CinemaBlend and we’ll let you know when the new release date is announced. In the meantime, you can learn what movies are hitting theaters later this year in our 2019 release schedule.