Vin Diesel’s Xander Cage Is Returning In January 2017

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Vin Diesel will be returning to one of his earliest breakout roles in early 2017 when XXX: The Return Of Xander Cage hits screens on January 20.

Diesel and the studio have been working on reviving the action franchise that was launched in 2002 for some time now. The film is currently in production with I Am Number 4‘s D.J. Caruso in the director’s chair and with a screenplay by John D. Brancato & Michael Ferris and F. Scott Frazier.

In the original film, Diesel starred as an extreme athlete who is recruited by the NSA for a secret mission especially suited for his talents. It was a moderate enough hit for the studio to go ahead with a sequel, but it was decided to kill off Diesel’s character and bring in Ice Cube to lead the follow up. That proved to be a mistake when XXX: State Of The Union, as it wound up being called, was both a box office and critical bomb. It remains to be seen if the writers will come up with some way to explain how Diesel’s character cheated death or if the events of the second film will just be ignored.

While I generally enjoy Diesel’s action work, I found the original XXX a bit underwhelming. In its opening scenes, an unnamed, tuxedo-clad British secret agent is killed, the film’s way of saying “Move over James Bond, there’s a new cool spy in town.” Except, the film went on to ape the then-standard Bond film formula almost beat for beat rather than trying to carve out its own unique style. Still, I am looking forward to this, if only because writer F. Scott Frazier has taken a pass through the screenplay and I really liked his script Autobahn, which is finally being released later this year under the title Collide.

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About Rich Drees 6257 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty years experience writing about film and pop culture.

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