xXx: The Return of Xander Cage Gets Replacement Director
by Ethan Anderton
August 26, 2009
Just in case you were worried that this project would never come to fruition (especially after director Rob Cohen dropped back in June) THR reports today that Ericson Core (Invincible) has been tapped to sit in the director's chair for the third installment of the action series xXx. We've known that Vin Diesel is coming back to reprise his role as Xander Cage for almost a year now, but since then the only news about the project was the uninspired hiring of John Brancato and Michael Ferris (Catwoman and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines) to pen the script. But with this dream team of talent can't you already smell the success?
Columbia is moving fast on this unnecessary sequel to capitalize on the recent trend of green-lighting nearly all familiar intellectual property-based pictures as well as the surprise that Vin Diesel is apparently still a box office draw (that $70 million opening weekend for Fast & Furious certainly got the studio's attention in a big way). The search for a director has been on for awhile which also included approval from Diesel himself. Though Core has only directed one previous feature, he's worked with Diesel before while he was director of photography on the first Fast and the Furious. But he might have some particular continuity questions to answer.
You might remember that the 2005 sequel xXx: State of the Union handed the super spy reigns over to Ice Cube. Before the film was released, however, the studio wanted Cohen to shoot something that would answer the question of what happened to Xander Cage. At the time, an apparently bitter Cohen simply decided to kill off the character in a short film that appeared as a DVD extra. Obviously logic and realism aren't at the core of the xXx franchise, so I'm sure there will be some sort of explanation for his survival. We'll keep you posted on the development of this sequel, but that doesn't mean we'll be excited about it.