Movie

The Six Billion Dollar Man Director Has Been Fired From the Film

The Six Billion Dollar Man movie needs a new director. Reports indicate Damian Szifron has been fired from the Mark Wahlberg movie, an adaptation of the 1970s TV show The Six Million Dollar Man.

Deadline says Damian Szifron has been fired from The Six Billion Dollar Man movie due to creative differences and, possibly, a “language barrier.” Szifron is an Argentine film and television director and screenwriter who was set to make his American debut with the big budget Six Billion Dollar Man starring Mark Wahlberg. Now, the film needs a new director, and possibly a new script, because Szifron co-wrote that as well.

The Six Billion Dollar Man is an adaptation of the 1970s TV series The Six Million Dollar Man (they upped it to a billion because I guess no one is impressed by six million dollars anymore). The story focuses on Colonel Steve Austin (not to be confused with Stone Cold Steve Austin). Austin is a pilot who gets shot down and nearly killed. To save him, a secret government agency gives Austin bionic implants to make him part man, part machine. In other words, it’s like RoboCop, without all the subversive stuff. Mark Wahlberg is set to play Austin.

Szifron joined the film in 2015, when he was first hired to write for director Peter Berg. At some point, Berg left the project, and Szifron was tapped to direct. At the time, Szifron said:

“The themes surrounding this beloved property allow for the creation of a memorable sci-fi actioner as well as a bold spy thriller. Expectations are high and I’ll do my best to deliver the strongest basis for an amazing cinematic experience.”

Now, the film needs a director yet again. THR indicates that there might already be a candidate for the position: Mel Gibson. Gibson is being courted to play Austin’s mentor Oscar Goldman in the film. Gibson, of course, has a background in filmmaking, and THR seems to think that Warner Bros. might step in and ask Gibson to not just appear in the film, but to direct it as well. We’ll see.

Despite all the ups and downs, Wahlberg has remained with the project. Back in 2015, the actor said:

“[I’m] very, very excited. Damian [Szifron] has written an amazing script, and I can’t wait. I think it’s going to be a game changer. It’s action, but it’s very character driven. I would say it will be more like a Bourne than like a Marvel movie. Grounded. Real. Edgy.”

The Six Billion Dollar Man is set to hit theaters May 31, 2019. That might change now.

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