Despite being one of the main parties to actually champion the franchiseâ€™s renewal, Producer and occasional-director Rob Cohen has backed out of â€œxXx 3 : The return of Xander Cageâ€ â€“ a project which wouldâ€™ve reunited him with the original star, Vin Diesel â€“ leaving the soon-to-lens project captain-less.
The reason for Cohen vacating his post? Something better came along.
Cohen, who directed the first â€œxXxâ€ and â€œFast and the Furiousâ€ films (also with Diesel), has signed a deal to helm an event-sized action film called â€œMedievalâ€, described as “The Magnificent Seven” in the Middle Ages.
New Regency, which will finance the film and distribute through Fox, acquired the spec script by Alex Litvak (â€œPredatorsâ€) and Michael Finch in an $800,000 against $1.6 million deal, says Variety.
Critic dartboard McG will be involved in a producing capacity.
Cohen, who studied anthropology and European history at Harvard, said he was drawn by the opportunity to tap into the historical period and create a heightened reality with big action pieces. Regency has kept the script hush-hush, but sources said the action brings together warriors from disparate cultures.
“It was a tough decision about ‘XXX,’ ” Cohen said. “I talked to Vin over the weekend and said I hoped they would wait, but that if they find another director who’s right for the sequel, I certainly wouldn’t be angry. But I could not let something like this go.”