In 2002 the action adventure film xXx was released only a year after the The Fast & The Furious left its souped-up, adrenaline filled mark on pop culture. In a role clearly meant to capitalize on his new found status as action hero, Vin Diesel starred as Xander Cage, a extreme sports athlete who gets recruited by the government to assist on missions that require his specific set of skills. xXx may have been the spiritual successor to Furious, but it did not have the same universal appeal, and failed to turn into a powerhouse franchise.

The film’s middling box office performance was still enough to green-light a sequel, 2005’s xXx: State of the Union. Diesel opted out of the follow up and the action shifted to Ice Cube’s Darius Stone, a new agent likewise working for the government. The sequel was not well received and the franchise had largely been left alone until reports surfaced that Diesel would be reprising his role as Cage in the upcoming xXx: The Return of Xander Cage. We now have more information on the third film, and it sounds like we will have even more familiar faces getting in on the action.

Reports have now surfaced (via Moviehole) that Ice Cube will be reprising his role as Stone for the next installment, indicating that the events which took place without Cage will be weaved into the fabric of the movie – rather than overlooked or ignored. His addition – assuming this rumor is true – will only build on the already impressive lineup for the film. Cube will be joined by Samuel L. Jackson who appeared in both movies as Agent Augustus Eugene Gibbons as well as martial arts superstar Jet Li, who is rumored to the the films antagonist.

XXX Rumor Patrol: Ice Cube Returning For xXx 3


Having Diesel, Jackson and now Cube all in on the action affords the film some nice continuity, something that will be necessary as they explain away Cage’s off screen “death” after the first film. His addition also sets the film up as an ensemble piece – again echoing the very successful revival of the Furious franchise. Watching the two actors, both of whom are known for their distinct line delivery, play off of one another should be an added treat for audiences. The first two films both offered some campy, fun lines, whether it was Diesel’s classic rumble of “Oh, the things I’m going to do for my country” or Cube’s enunciated “God bless America.” The two oncscreen together should lend itself to some entertaining scenery chewing.

The first film was a fun, escapist romp that was enjoyable – if not very self-aware. The second film was also escapist, but not as well constructed and lacked the energy of the first. These casting developments indicate that the sequel’s missteps are being addressed and that when the film is released in 2017 the franchise might finally see the box office domination it was was aiming for fifteen years prior.

xXx: The Return of Xander Cage is scheduled for release in 2017.

Source: Moviehole