Vin Diesel’s “xXx 3″ Moves Forward — with a New Director

As Xander Cage and Vin Diesel prepares to make their return to the “xXx” franchise, they’ll have to do it without original director Rob Cohen. Although Cohen has been talking up the sequel for a while now, he’s apparently decided to jump ship on the project to helm the silly sounding, but also potentially cool period actioner “Medieval”, leaving the third “xXx” movie without a head honcho. According to THR, Columbia Pictures has solved that little issue by hiring a new director: former DP man Ericson Core.

Before they hired Core, Columbia had to get the thumbs up from Diesel, who has previously worked with Core when the former DP worked on “The Fast and Furious” with Diesel. As coincidence would have it, the director of that movie was also Rob Cohen.

The sequel, the third entry in the franchise, will bring back the original hero, Xander Cage (Diesel), who returns to the National Security Agency after an eight-year absence despite having been “killed” off screen in the second movie, the Ice Cube-starrer “State of the Union” which I think everyone agreed was just horrendous. Then again, what isn’t when Ice Cube is your action hero? I mean, it’s Ice Cube for God’s sake. NWA? Straight outta Compton? It just ain’t right.

The script for “xXX: The Return of Xander Cage” was written by John Brancato and Michael Ferris, with a recent polish by Richard Wilkes, the franchise’s original writer. Shooting on the action franchise is scheduled to commence early next year for a quick 2010 release.

Hi, I'm Vin Diesel, and I approve this new director.

Hi, I'm Vin Diesel, and I approve this new director.