Last year there were rumors aplenty that the story of the original cyborg himself, Steve Austin, the Six Million Dollar Man, would be remade into a motion picture. With a new RoboCop movie now pushed out to February 2014 with an all-star cast (well, except for the borg cop himself, played by Joel Kinnaman) including Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Keaton, Jennifer Ehle, and Jackie Earle Haley, it’s not a stretch to think someone would lay down some real money to make the first big screen adaptation of Martin Caidin’s astronaut-turned-borg novel Cyborg. The big rumor revolved around Leonardo DiCaprio as set to play Steve Austin. But even if you don’t think Lee Majors was the perfect running man, it’s pretty difficult to imagine DiCaprio a tough astronaut of the Right Stuff variety who could survive a test craft auguring into the earth.
If you’re not keeping up on the current status of the Bionic Man franchise, you need only check out your local comic book store, where Phil Hester is writing, and Ed Tadeo is drawing, the exploits of an updated Six Million Dollar Man in the 21st century, in the Bionic Man monthly series. So far we’ve seen some great covers, including some super Alex Ross covers. Today, Issue #14 hits the newsstands (cover pictured above) from Dynamite Comics. From keeping my eye on the advance previews and publications, a few weeks ago we reported on some great new cover work coming from Mike Mayhew, with his first Bionic Man cover coming out in two months:
I was lucky enough to be able to purchase the original sketch art for this issue from Mike, shown here, used to sell the concept to Dynamite Comics:
Simply great work, from one of my favorite artists out there in comics today. This is how I want to see Steve Austin. This is the guy I want to see in the big budget film adaptation.
Which brings me to Tuesday night and the re-airing of the pilot to the TV series Fringe on the Science Channel. In the first part of the pilot we get to see what I had hoped would be the two stars of the series–Mark Valley as Agent Scott, and Anna Torv as Agent Dunham. They are dead ringers for Steve Austin and Jaime Sommers. (Scott doesn’t end up as one of the three series stars, unfortunately). In particular, Mayhew’s Steve Austin looks like he is summoning the tough looking Mark Valley right into his cover.
So how about it? How about another Bionic Man TV series, starring Valley as Steve Austin? He’s got the hero schtick down, too. After all, Valley will be the voice of Superman in The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2, due out January 29, 2013.