Rumor: Leonardo DiCaprio Courted for Six Million Dollar Man
11.17.11 by Ryan
Could the Weinstein Company be working on an adaptation of the '70s TV show The Six Million Dollar Man? According to a recent rumor, they are, and Leonardo DiCaprio could play the title role.
According to Latino Review, the Weinstein Co. is working with Universal to make a movie from The Six Million Dollar Man, which, like the series starring Lee Majors, would again be based on the 1972 novel Cybog by Martin Caidin. Due to inflation, the new movie would be titled The Six Billion Dollar Man. Rumored to be directing the project is Bryan Singer, who we recently reported is also interested in making a movie from another '70s TV show, Battlestar Galactica.
As for DiCaprio, the report claims that both Singer and Weinstein Company head honcho Harvey Weinstein have talked to DiCaprio about taking the lead role of astronaut Steve Austin, who suffers a terrible accident and has parts of his body replaced with (expensive) bionic parts and becomes a secret agent for the government.
Reportedly writing the screenplay are "the guys" who wrote Singer's upcoming movie, Jack the Giant Killer. This would mean some combination of four screenwriters, including Mark Bomback (Unstoppable) and Darren Lemke (Shrek Forever After), who worked on an early version of the script, as well as Christopher McQuarrie (Valkyrie), who rewrote it, and/or Dan Studney (Weird Science TV show), who worked on the script at some point as well.
So how much of this rumor is true? As The Playlist points out, the Weinsteins have held the rights to Six Million Dollar Man for over a decade and have long wanted to turn the property into a movie, though most of their previous attempts have been more comedic in tone. Should the studio make a movie with Singer and DiCaprio, we assume the movie wouldn't be a comedy, though whether DiCaprio would agree is another story.
While it's believable that Weinstein would approach DiCaprio about starring in a Six Million Dollar Man adaptation, the actor has already been cast in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained (another Weinstein Company release). It seems that a movie based on a TV show directed by someone known mostly for his work in comic book movies wouldn't be a good fit for the actor, who seems to only work on potential Oscar fare. DiCaprio has nothing concrete after Django Unchained, but is attached to several projects including a remake of The Gambler with director Martin Scorsese, an adaptation of The Devil in the White City about Chicago serial killer Dr. HH Holmes and an adaptation of The Wolf of Wall Street with director Ridley Scott. Those seem like stronger options than DiCaprio getting on the hospital table to become the Six Billion Dollar Man.