Pain & Gain

Damián Szifron, who earned a best foreign language film Oscar nomination for last year’s Wild Tales, has nabbed screenwriting duties for Six Billion Dollar Man, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The big-screen remake of the ’70s television show The Six Million Dollar Man will star Mark Wahlberg, with Peter Berg helming the project.

While Szifron isn’t the most obvious choice, his work experience makes him a good fit. Wild Tales is a darkly comic string of six short stories, most leading up to a murderous conclusion; the carnage in each of these disturbing vignettes likely could have been prevented by Wahlberg, had he only been there. As an Argentinian filmmaker, Szifron’s first language is not English; and as anybody who’s seen The Departed, The Fighter, or Ted knows, Walhberg’s native language is not English, but Boston.


Aside from adjusting for inflation, Six Billion Dollar Man is also changing Steve Austin’s profession. Austin, who was a pilot in the original series and a professional wrestler in this apocryphal spin-off, will now be a soldier who is critically wounded. Rescued by scientists, this newer Austin will be rebuilt better, stronger, faster, and, for some reason, shorter than one built for a paltry six million. The newer, swankier cyborg will likely gain the benefit of more recent innovations, like high-speed internet, nanotechnology, and Mark Wahlberg’s wicked quiet “serious acting” voice.