Making a xXx movie with VD

A couple of months ago Rob Cohen mentioned in an interview – I believe it was with our friends at IESB? – that he and Vin Diesel were talking about doing another “XXX” movie – whoops, “xXx” movie (I don’t believe either have done anything unsavoury…. Well, maybe “Knockaround Guys” and for Cohen, “Stealth”).

Today, Variety confirmed there’s been some movement on the project – tentatively titled “XXX : The Return of Xander Cage”.

Diesel, no doubt desperate for a hit, is all for sequels now. He wasn’t when Sony wanted him back for “xXx 2″. They ended up with Ice Cube instead (and Diesel’s character, Xander Cage, was played by another actor in a bonus mini-movie for the DVD – one in which the character was killed. Oops. Anyway, nothing a line of dialogue can’t fix, hey?) and an all-round stinker.

I remember interviewing writer Simon Kinberg for the “xXx 2 : State of the Union” and he mentioned he’d pitched a third film that would centre on a ‘female’ xXx agent (mentioning Michelle Yeoh as a possible star), someone proficient in martial-arts, possibly hailing from China. Obviously Sony didn’t bite.

Anyway, as of today, “xXx” director Cohen and star Diesel are returning to the franchise.

Producer Joe Roth controls the property because the original film was made by his Revolution Studios, which was also behind “XXX: State of the Union”. Though Columbia is keen to handle the pic at the moment, Roth is pretty much free to shop the film around if they end up getting cold feet or despise the [unwritten] script – and word is, there are already quite a few interested parties.