Vin Diesel is quickly becoming the modern king of the action feature franchise, with his continued involvement in the Fast & Furious series, Riddick and now his return to the xXx franchise that he made famous. The saga of extreme sports activist turned super spy, Xander Cage, is finding new life in the upcoming third installment of the series.

xXx: The Return of Xander Cage is slated to arrive in 2017 and casting news has been rolling in with confirmations of Samuel L. Jackson returning to reprise his role as Agent Augustus Eugene Gibbons, martial arts action stars Jet Li and Tony Jaa – and even a possible return of Ice Cube to reprise his Darius Stone character from the second film in the franchise, xXx: State of the Union. The latest news brings confirmation that Toni Collette will be joining the cast.

According to THR, Collette has been cast to play a bureaucrat within the intelligence community. The James Bond franchise recruited Dame Judy Dench to bring a level of sophistication to the series as ‘M’ and now xXx is doing the same with the addition of Collette. Although she made her acting debut in 1990, it wasn’t until 1999 when Collette was given an Oscar nomination for her role as the mother of a troubled child in The Sixth Sense. She went on to gain notoriety for her roles in films like About a Boy and Little Miss Sunshine, before she went on to headline her own television series, The United States of Tara. However, xXx 3 marks Collette’s first inclusion in a franchise film.

XXX xXx 3: Toni Collette Joins Vin Diesel For the Return of Xander Cage

The third xXx film has been rounding out its cast nicely, with other roles being filled by Ruby Rose (Orange Is The New Black), Nina Dobrev (The Vampire Diaries) and Bollywood starlette Deepika Padrone. Screenwriting duties on xXx: The Return of Xander Cage have been taken up by relative newcomer F. Scott Frazier, with screenplay duties by vetern action duo John D. Brancato and Michael Ferris. Brancato and Ferris are the team who worked together previously on franchise films like Terminator 3 and Terminator Salvation.

The return of Samuel L. Jackson to the franchise, while probably not surprising given his prolific film career, is certainly a nice bit of continuity with the first two xXx movies. That news, coupled with the rumor that Ice Cube may be coming back to reprise his Darius Stone role from the first xXx sequel, are a nice way to weave the films together into a proper franchise – instead of simply ignoring the second installment, as would typically be done in cases like this.

xXx: The Return of Xander Cage is tentatively scheduled to arrive in 2017.

Source: THR

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