Michael Ferris and John Brancato are in early talks to write the screenplay for XXX: The Return of Xander Cage, the third film in the series which re-teams hack director Rob Cohen and robot turned actor Vin Diesel. Ferris and Brancato made a name for themselves with David Fincher’s The Game, but are probably best known for Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, The Net, Catwoman, Primeval and Terminator Salvation. Yeah, not exactly a good track record, not that there was any hopes for a third XXX film in the first place.
On the other hand, at least it can’t be any worse than xXx 2: The Next Level.
In quick defense of Terminator Salvation, Ferris and Brancato will likely only get story credit on the final film with some sort of screenwriting credit going to David C Wilson and Jonathan Nolan.
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This past month Vin Diesel was dropping hints that he would be interested in returning for a third film in the xXx franchise. And now Variety is reporting that Sony is in talks with the star to reprise his role as Xander Cage, an extreme athlete turned government super agent. Hack director Rob Cohen is also in talks to return. To give you an idea of just how much of a bad idea this actually is…. the project has a title, xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, which is five words more than the current draft of the screenplay. But a screenplay isn’t important, really..
Ice Cube replaced Diesel in XXX: State of the Union, and no one noticed or cared. Apparently, Diesel wanted too much money. So either the studio has upped their offer or Diesel, who is coming off the box office bomb that was Babylon A.D., lowered his asking price. My guess is that the offer is somewhere in the lower end of the middle.
I’m actually one of the few people who believe that Diesel could be good if used right. I enjoyed his supporting performances in Boiler Room and Saving Private Ryan. But Diesel continues to take a few more steps in the wrong direction with Fast and Furious and xXx 3.
The bad news is that Hollywood has decided to rape your childhood once again. Rob Cohen revealed to Bloody Disgusting that he will be producing a remake of classic 1987 movie Monster Squad for Paramount. If there is anyone out there remotely excited by the idea of a Monster Squad remake, let me remind you that Cohen has directed some of the worst films of recent years: xXx, Stealth, The Skulls, and from I’ve heard, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.
The good news is that Cohen has no plans to direct the remake. Little known fact, Rob Cohen produced The Wiz, the African American adaptation of The Wizard of Oz starring Michael Jackson and Diana Ross. Sidenote: that was a horrible horrible film. I wouldn’t trust anything with his name attached to it now-a-days.
Co-written by Shane Black, and directed by Fred Dekker, Monster Squad followed a group of young teenagers who must stop Dracula and his classic monster minions (who were re-imagined by a team of special effects artists including Stan Winston) from taking over the world. The film has become a cult classic to the ‘80’s generation. Lionsgate released a two-disc 20th anniversary Monster Squad special edition DVD in October 2007.
Rob Cohen has released a new photo still from The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. This new production photo features the first appearance of Jet Li as Emperor Han. Click on the image above to enlarge.
“Today, I shot Jet Li on his black stallion riding into battle in his jade armor,” Cohen wrote in the blog. “He looked nothing short of an Emperor. He has been totally professional and warm to me and the entire crew, like the prince he truly is.”
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor hits theaters on August 1st 2008.
Rob Cohen has published a few new photos from the set of The Mummy 3: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, including one of Maria Bello as the new Evelyn (yuck, where is Rachel!?).
I wrote earlier today that I actually enjoyed the first Fast and the Furious film (a comment I’m sure to get a lot of flack for), also a Cohen project. I also very much had fun in the first Mummy film, but where can this series go? It’s basically an Indiana Jones knock off with a less talented cast, crew and oh yeah, a sad supernatural Mummy character, which in the third film is played by Jet Li (yes, that Jet Li).
And Cohen’s filmography has suffered in recent years (xXx, Stealth). I keep having to remind myself that Cohen once made Dragonheart. So I don’t have much faith in The Mummy 3, but in this case I hope I’m proved wrong.
I have recently gotten the criticism that I’ve been far too negative. But the truth is I go into every screening wanting to love the movie, wanting to be surprised. And The Mummy 3 is the perfect example of this. I want it to be fun and magical, but magical and fun isn’t a realistic expectation.
Check out the new photos after the jump.
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It was reported last week that Jet Li had been cast in The Mummy 3. Many people wondered how that could be. Well, now we know (or at least think we know).
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