New distribution company The H Collective has announced that development has officially begun on xXx 4, after the Vin Diesel-led action/adventure franchise made a return to the big screen earlier this year with xXx: Return of Xander Cage, after a long layoff.
Following a thirteen year hiatus between entries of the xXx franchise, Return of Xander Cage attempted to resurrect the long-dormant franchise when it hit theaters this past January. In Diesel's return to the extreme sports-spy hybrid franchise following his departure for 2005's xXx: State of the Union, the series found new life by grossing almost $350 million dollars worldwide. Despite muted interest in the United States (less than $50 million stateside), that international gross was enough to justify moving forward with the next sequel.
As reported by THR, franchise producers Joe Roth and Jeff Kirschenbaum have partnered with Sid Ganis and Mark Johnson to form self-financing production outfit The H Collective. Their first announced projects as a group is headlined by xXx 4, which will be produced by at least Roth, Kirschenbaum and presumably Diesel. Other films being produced under The H Collective include the action/comedy Three Sisters from Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov (and starring Return of Xander Cage's Ruby Rose), as well as the already-completed Aaron Paul drama The Parts You Lose. The producers will be focusing on family comedy, horror, and action/adventure, with the xXx series as their marquee franchise in the early going.
Much has changed in Diesel's career in the time since the original xXx film in 2002. For starters, Diesel's other major franchise, the Fast and the Furious, has had its own Renaissance in recent years. The last four to five entries in that series have performed like box-office juggernauts around the globe, consistently reaching towards or exceeding a billion dollar gross worldwide. Return of Xander Cage took a lot of cues from the success of that franchise, pairing now global superstar Diesel with a band of outstandingly skilled criminal misfits to stop a global terroristic threat. The gamble clearly paid off, as the series is moving forward into the foreseeable future.
No cast members have been officially set, though it would be surprising if Diesel and franchise mainstay Samuel L. Jackson didn't return in at least some capacity. Return of Xander Cage also starred the aforementioned Ruby Rose, Nina Dobrev, Donnie Yen, Tony Jaa, Deepika Padukone, Rory McCann, and a cameo by State of the Union star Ice Cube. There's no word on whether D.J. Caruso will return to direct xXx 4, at this stage.