Vin Diesel hasn’t played the role of extreme spots athlete Xander Cage since xXx hit theaters in 2002, having spent much of the 14 years since then playing either Dominic Toretto or Richard B. Riddick instead (with a few exceptions, of course). However, Diesel steps back into the shoes of thrill seeker-turned secret agent Cage in the upcoming xXx: The Return of Xander Cage: a film by director D.J. Caruso (Eagle Eye, I Am Number Four) and co-writer Chad St. John (London Has Fallen).

The 2005 xXx installment, xXx: State of the Union, attempted to continue the xXx franchise without Diesel by replacing him with Ice Cube as the lead and having the Cage character killed off-screen. That attempt to keep the series going failed to pan out either critically or commercially, as State of the Union earned a weak reception and only grossed $71 million worldwide on an $87 million budget. The xXx “brand” remained dormant for the decade thereafter, until Diesel unexpectedly announced that it was being resurrected with the start of production on Return of Xander Cage in 2015.

Diesel has now posted a teaser for Return of Xander Cage online (see below), ahead of the full trailer being unveiled later during the week. Said Return of Xander Cage trailer will be attached to prints of Star Trek Beyond in theaters this weekend, as both franchise sequels are being distributed by Paramount Pictures.

xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, as the title implies, reveals that Cage has been living in “self-imposed exile” over the years since his death was faked. However, Cage is called back into action when a “deadly alpha warrior” named Xiang (Donnie Yen) seeks out an extremely dangerous weapon known as the Pandora’s Box. NSA Agent Augustus Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson) thus winds up seeking assistance from Cage, as it turns out Xiang has friends in high places and is conspiring with government officials around the world.

Return of Xander Cage, as its trailer preview suggests, features the same type of adrenaline-fueled action sequences and set pieces as its xXx predecessors and the Diesel-starring Fast & Furious movies alike. The third xXx installment is borrowing from Fast & Furious‘ formula for success in other respects too; including, boasting a diverse cast chockfull of stars with international appeal. In addition to Diesel, Jackson, and Yen (the latter a martial arts superstar famous for the Ip Man movies), the Return of Xander Cage cast includes Bollywood star Deepika Padukone, Ruby Rose (Orange is the New Black), Tony Jaa (Furious 7), Nina Dobrev (The Vampire Diaries), and Toni Collette (The Way Way Back), among others.

Diesel helped install new life into the then-flailing Fast & Furious series when he returned to the franchise in 2009, but that doesn’t guarantee he’ll be able to repeat the trick with xXx and Return of Xander Cage; nor does it mean the Fast & Furious formula will prove as successful when applied to Xander Cage’s world. For now, though, it’s best to hold on continuing this conversation further until the actual Return of Xander Cage trailer arrives and offers a better litmus test for just how much demand (or lack thereof) there is for this particular Diesel-led franchise’s continuation.

NEXT: Vin Diesel Shares Fast & Furious 8 Cast Photo

xXx: The Return of Xander Cage opens in U.S. theaters on January 20th, 2017.

Source: Vin Diesel

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