Poor Vin Diesel, the man just can’t get a break. He hit the big time about a decade ago with Pitch Black. He followed that movie up with The Fast and the Furious and xXx, however he refused to star in follow-ups to these. Instead opting for The Chronicles of Riddick, a big budget sequel to Pitch Black, a film that failed to meet expectations (as well as its budget at the box office).

Following the failure of Babylon A.D. and the loss of “street cred” due to The Pacifier, Diesel is returning to the “furious” franchise next summer with Fast and Furious (the fourth film in the series), while news has come in today that the bald star and original xXx director Rob Cohen are mulling a return to the “modern Bond” franchise they started in 2002 (following Ice Cube’s disastrous sequel).

So what the heck is up with Vin Diesel?

Do these choices merely reek of desperation or a cunning game plan?

My thinking is that Diesel is a little desperate. Every A-list star needs a franchise to fall back on – it’s a safety net for when things get rough. For examples of this see Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Willis, Ford (and Eddie Murphy over the last five or so years) – when the chips are down return to your glory days.

Diesel however cooked his goose before he actually bought it by bailing on xXx and The Fast and the Furious and betting all his chips on the Riddick franchise. It would appear that Diesel is trying to regroup and solidify his standing in Hollywood by attaching himself to some films that make money (it isn’t called show business for nothing) so that he can make his oft mooted Hannibal film and continue his “epic story” for Riddick. Oh … and pay the mortgage on his mansion.

It seems that Hollywood is biting – Sony is interested in another xXx, however as the rights are owned by former Revolution Studios head, Joe Roth, he’ll be shopping the film around town for a solid deal. With Rob Cohen, now hot after the new Mummy (and was previously “cold” after Stealth) and Diesel taking a pay cut due to back to back bombs, it looks like we might eventually see xXx: The Return of Xander Cage.

It really does look like X gonna give it to ya.

Source: Variety