Vin Diesel Says xXx 3 Starts Filming This December

A year after The Fast and The Furious made him a star, Vin Diesel tried to kickstart another franchise with xXx, a film in which he played a former stuntman/extreme sports nut contracted as a secret agent by the NSA. It was as ridiculous as you’d imagine — I recall there being a lot of grinding down handrails — and Diesel went off to make The Pacifier while Ice Cube came in for xXx 2: State of the Union.

But Diesel, ever the franchise man, wants to return to his roots and after announcing he would be back for another sequel, it appears production is close to getting underway. In an Instagram post, Diesel says the movie — once called xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, though we’re not sure if that title remains or not — starts filming this December.

While I was filming XXX, guys on set called me Air Diesel… The time to return has come. Filming starts December in the Philippines. #ILiveForThisShit

Xander Cage is the name of Diesel’s character in the 2002 hit, which was directed by Rob Cohen. Cage is a former extreme sports athlete recruited by the government to go undercover and use those skills to fight bad guys. The movie was a gadget-filled, hyper-stylized action movie kind of in the mold of the current Fast and Furious movies. It was a big hit and was followed in 2005 by a Diesel-less, Ice Cube sequel, xXx: State of the Union. That film was a financial and critical disappointment. Hence the 10 year layoff.

Diesel is so popular these days, and fans are so hungry for big action films, you have to think xXx 3 will cause some excitement, even if many people don’t remember the first film. But the same was probably said after Diesel came back to the Fast and Furious franchise after missing two movies and we all know how that turned out. There’s no word on what the film will be about, but a movie about an extreme sports badass who becomes a spy was barely believable in 2002…how will audiences react to that premise in 2016 or 2017 when this movie comes out? Are people really on the edge of their seats to know what happened to Xander Cage? We’ll find out soon enough.