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[ December 14th 2001 ]

Universal Pictures has pacted with Dimension Films to create a feature adaptation of Martin Caidin's Cyborg, the 1972 novel that served as the basis for the 1974-78 Universal Television series The Six Million Dollar Man.

Larry Gordon will produce the film with Scott Faye and Paul Rosenberg's Collision Entertainment. U retains the right to opt in and co-finance 50% of the production and any others relating to The Six Million Dollar Man. Universal first began developing the feature in 1995, with Kevin Smith penning the script. While it's possible Smith could be involved with the newest take on the project, there are no writers' deals in place.

In the original series, Steve Austin was an American astronaut badly injured in the desert crash of his moon-landing vehicle. The government saved his life by replacing body parts with atomic-powered bionic devices. The half-man, half-cyborg was then utilized on dangerous missions for the Office of Scientific Information, doing battle with various international crooks and mad scientists.

The Universal-Dimension pact also includes rights to the three other novels in Caidin's Cyborg series: Operation Nuke, High Crystal and Cyborg IV. "Six Million Dollar Man is a franchisable film that we have been wanting to make for a long time now," Dimension co-chairman Bob Weinstein told Daily Variety. "We're elated to have worked out a partnership with Universal."

Scott Cherrin will serve as co-producer on the project. Michael Zoumas, Dimension's senior VP of production and development, is overseeing the project with Dimension co-prexys Andrew Rona and Brad Weston.

Gordon most recently produced Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and K-PAX. Collision is developing a number of projects for Dimension, including the vidgame adaptations Max Payne, Alice and Doom. Senior exec VP Michael Helfant and senior VP of business and legal affairs Andrew Gumpert negotiated on behalf of Dimension.

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