XXX: The Return of Xander Cage Finds A New Director

Xander Cage

Is there really a demand for a second xXx sequel? Last year it was announced that Michael Ferris and John Brancato (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, The Net, Catwoman) were to write the screenplay for XXX: The Return of Xander Cage, the third film in the series which would re-team director Rob Cohen and actor Vin Diesel. But when Cohen dropped out to ruin a possible much better film direct Medieval, we assumed that the film had fallen back into development hell. Not so…

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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.

VOTD: xXx: The Death of Xander Cage

xXx: The Death of Xander Cage

The Pitch: A couple days ago, it was announced that Vin Diesel is in talks to return for a third xXx film titled xXx: The Return of Xander Cage. /Film reader Karel R alerted me to this short film titled xXx: The Death of Xander Cage, which was apparently a special feature on the director’s cut DVD. It’s almost unbelievable. The film is supposed to tie up loose ends between the first and second films, and explain how Vin Diesel’s character met his ultimate demise. The funniest part is the whole thing was shot without Diesel’s involvement.

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xXx: The Return of Xander Cage

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.