xXx not hot enough for Cohen

Despite being one of the main parties to actually champion the franchise’s renewal, Producer and occasional-director Rob Cohen has backed out of “xXx 3 : The return of Xander Cage” – a project which would’ve reunited him with the original star, Vin Diesel – leaving the soon-to-lens project captain-less.

The reason for Cohen vacating his post? Something better came along.

Cohen, who directed the first “xXx” and “Fast and the Furious” films (also with Diesel), has signed a deal to helm an event-sized action film called “Medieval”, 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 (“Predators”) 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.”