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Leonardo DiCaprio to play the Six Billion Dollar Man!?

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The guy likely receives more film offers in one day than I’m asked for lap dances, and so who knows whether it’ll even advance to the ‘Okay, set up a lunch’ phase, but nevertheless interesting to hear who might be cinema’s Steve Austin (no kids, this is a different Steve Austin).

Leonardo DiCaprio.

Bryan Singer – who is also developing a feature film based on another classic series, “Battlestar Galactica” – is apparently going to direct “The Six Billion Dollar Man”, a feature-film rework of the ol’ Lee Majors series “The Six Million Dollar Man”.

“Superman Returns” director Singer wants – as does everyone else in Hollywood – DiCaprio in his movie.

Latino Review say the “J.Edgar” star won’t attach himself to the project without having read the script, which is fair enough, but it does suggest how hungry Singer and the Weinstein’s are for the box-office stud.

The project will be based – well, on the show, of course but also – on a book called “Cyborg”, which also inspired the series, says the site.

Wikipedia says of the book :

Cyborg is the story of an astronaut-turned-test pilot, Steve Austin, who experiences a catastrophic crash during a flight, leaving him with all but one limb destroyed, blind in one eye, and with other major injuries.

At the same time, a secret branch of the American government, the Office of Strategic Operations (OSO) has taken an interest in the work of Dr. Rudy Wells in the field of bionics – the replacement of human body parts with mechanical prosthetics that (in the context of this novel) are more powerful than the original limbs. Wells also happens to be a close friend of Austin’s, so when OSO chief Oscar Goldman “invites” (or rather, orders) Wells to rebuild Austin with bionics limbs, Wells agrees.

(Note: in Caidin’s writings, he uses the form “bionics” in all references treating it as both noun (singular) and adjective, since “-ics” is the Greek suffix meaning science, study or practice, as in “physics”; this was changed for the subsequent television series to the more adjectival-sounding form “bionic”, e.g. “bionic limbs” rather than Caidin’s “bionics limbs”.)

Steve Austin is outfitted with two new legs capable of propelling him at great speed, and a bionics left arm that while closely resembling a human arm, is in fact a deadly bludgeon and battering ram. His left eye is replaced with a false, removable eye that is used (in this first novel) to house a miniature camera. Other physical alterations include the installation of a steel skull plate to replace bone smashed by the crash, a poison dart gun in one of the fingers of the bionics arm, and a radio transmitter built into a rib. This mixture of man and machine is known as a cyborg, from which the novel gets its title.

The first half of the novel details Austin’s operation and both his reaction to his original injuries—he attempts to commit suicide—and his initially resentful reaction to being rebuilt with bionics. The operation comes with a hefty price tag, and Austin is committed to working for the OSO as a reluctant agent. He is teamed with a female operative and sent to the Middle East as a new weapon against extremism.
[edit] Steve Austin series

Gotta say, the new version sounds a lot more enticing than the Kevin Smith-written screenplay that never got past a photocopier.

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About Caffeinated Clint

The writer/publicist/producer who wears the editor hat on Moviehole. Favorite films include "Say Anything...", "The Hunt for Red October", "Jerry Maguire", "Almost Famous", "Die Hard", "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo", "Young Guns", "American Psycho", "Back to the Future" and the "Star Wars" series.
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