Vin Diesel first starred as extreme sports athlete turned government super spy Xander Cage in 2002’s xXx, but sat out the action franchise’s second outing, xXx: State of the Union, which starred Ice Cube. Now one of the biggest action stars in the world, Diesel leads the Fast & Furious and Riddick series and is returning for xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, slated for release in 2017.

xXx 3 will also see the return of Samuel L. Jackson to the franchise, will add Jet Li and Toni Collette to the cast, and could even see Ice Cube’s return. Plot details remain unknown, but it has an undeniably interesting director in D.J. Caruso (Disturbia), with screenwriting duties taken up by F. Scott Frazier, joined by John D. Brancato and Michael Ferris, the latter pair having worked on franchise entries like Terminator Salvation.

Filming is now underway on the threequel, and star Vin Diesel has shared some new set images from xXx 3‘s production (via The Wrap). Take a look at them below:

First day on the sound stage...Xander...

Posted by Vin Diesel on Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Director, producers and myself sitting in wonder as we take in the artistry of the many craftsmen that have built...

Posted by Vin Diesel on Saturday, January 30, 2016

Green screen background? Check. Dirt bike in mid-air? Check. Scantily clad woman? Check. At first glance, it seems like xXx 3 has already hit all the action movie clichés with that first image. However, the scene being shot may be some kind of ironic, tongue-in-cheek glimpse at Diesel’s character Xander Cage before he is called back into action. Of course, this presumes a level of self-awareness to the action flick that may not apply in this case.

The second image depicts Diesel with his director and producers in the middle of one of the sets. The star praises his production designers and craftsmen who created the scenery, which looks to be some kind of vaguely Mesoamerican ruins. The setting provides little in the way of hints as to the film’s storyline, but confirms the movie’s exotic locale(s) — as if this aspect of a hyperactive action movie were ever in doubt.

The first xXx movie was a big hit with a worldwide gross of over $277 million, arriving hot on the heels of The Fast and the Furious and providing Diesel with the ideal momentum to build a career as an action star. The Ice Cube-starring second entry dipped sharply in box office returns, but with the strength of the Fast & Furious series — of which Diesel is now the de facto headliner — and the resurgence of long-dormant franchises in general (TerminatorJurassic WorldStar Wars), who can blame the producers for wanting to bring this series back to life? Whether audiences respond or not is another question.

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

Source: Vin Diesel (via The Wrap)

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