the bionic man

The Farrellys rebuild Chris Rock for Six... Billion.. Dollars


Mention Steve Austin to most teenagers, and chances are you'll get a face full of WWF grapple babble. But mention the name to any slacker who grew up during the 70's, and you're sure to hear the famous opening "Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology." The Six Million Dollar Man was the TV action show, full of dodgy sound effects and naff-o-vision bionic shenanigans. And we loved it.

Now, the Farrelly brothers, they of the premature egagulation semen jokes, are planning to drag Mr.Austin right back to his campy roots, punch up his value to six billion dollars and stick him oln the big screen. And who are they going to snash into little bits and rebuild? Funny man Chris Rock. If he signs on.

Don't expect it immediately though, as the writing/directing twosome have plenty on their plate already. They're already lining up (oh dear) Special Olympics scam movie Ringers, while their script for Siamese twins (Stuck On You) sits waiting, as does rom-com Say It Isn't So (Chris Klein attached, Heather Graham considering). Plus there's the small matter of the brothers directing the live action segments for Warners' wonderfully nutso Fantastic Voyagey 'toon Osmosis Jones.

They're also not the first to take a crack at the bionic legend. Back in 1996, Universal planned a campless flick with a script penned by Kevin Smith, a committed Steve-o-holic. Despite chugging through the rewrite factory via Joss Buffy Whedon and John US Marshals Pogue, nothing came of the project and Universal quietly buried it. Now that the Farrellys have unearthed the rights (and ditched their orginal scheme of a camp-fuelled TV series), what are their plans? And, more importantly, what of the original robo-couple Lindsay Wagner as the bionic woman and Lee Majors as Steve? Fear not. Peter Farrelly recently revealed: "He's in there. It's 25 years later and some of his parts are a little rusty, so a new man's made." Inspector Gadget with gross-out gags? Stupid 70's cameos? Sounds great, but if we hear Max the bionic dog is included, Rough Cut has a bionic slap to the goolies with the Farrelly's name on it...

EMPIRE Sept.2000