D.J. Caruso Resuscitates xXx 3; Vin Diesel Still On Board

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D.J. Caruso Resuscitates xXx 3; Vin Diesel Still On Board

Disturbia helmer D.J. Caruso is fast becoming Hollywood’s go-to guy for threequels no one asked really asked for in the first place. After signing on to tackle G.I. Joe 3 for Paramount, the director has reportedly boarded the long-in-the-works xXx 3.

Speaking with io9, Diesel seemed bullish about the would-be blockbuster, though he noted that Furious 8 may end up taking off before it now that F. Gary Gray has been selected to replace James Wan in the director’s chair on that far more high-profile project:

“I’m excited as hell about XXX. D.J. Caruso is directing it, which is exciting. The big question now is which will race to production first now that F. Gary Gray is on [Furious 8]? Will XXX race to production first or will Fast race to production first?”

Whenever it ends up happening, the xXx threequel will find Vin Diesel once more slipping into the role of Xander Cage, a daredevil extreme-sports aficionado forced to spy for the NSA.

Diesel originated the part in 2002, before he was a household name but after the first Fast and Furious, in a quickly forgotten actioner directed by his F&F director Rob Cohen. When it came time for a sequel, though, Sony selected Ice Cube to topline, hoping to launch a new franchise around that actor.

Awful reviews and underwhelming box office receipts put those plans on ice, and everyone seemingly moved on with their lives – apart from Diesel, who’s remained enthusiastic about the property all these years and finally has the clout to get it moving again. With Diesel’s Fast & Furious franchise having emerged as Universal’s most beloved golden goose, and another potential franchise igniting this month with his Last Witch Hunter, the actor is taking full advantage of his A-lister status to move forward with his passion projects – which also include, strangely enough, a Kojak movie and a trilogy about the Carthaginian general Hannibal.

Caruso is a solid choice to helm an action tentpole like xXx 3, though one has to wonder whether there’s still much of an audience for the property. Diesel’s star power is definitely the main factor in Paramount green-lighting the threequel – but the studio is going to have to essentially reboot the character in order to reintroduce him to audiences, which seems like a lot of work when Diesel could simply try his hand with a new, original character.

Regardless, Caruso’s involvement is the most promising news about xXx 3 that’s come around since the project was announced. The studio might not care if the movie is totally unnecessary, but at least recruiting a proven talent to sit behind the camera means execs do at least want it to be good.

Source: Collider

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