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Xxx sequel underway?

xXx.jpgIf you read Filmstalker then you'll have already known for a good few months that Rob Cohen has been approached to get back on the xXx franchise by the producer Joe Roth, so the rumour that Columbia is in discussions with both Cohen and Vin Diesel for the third film in the series isn't that surprising.

Perhaps it is a little surprising considering last we heard from Cohen he'd deliberately killed off Diesel's xXx character in the franchise to make way for Ice Cube, and what a good move that turned out to be.

Today we're told that Columbia Pictures are in discussions with both Rob Cohen and Vin Diesel to return to the franchise about a government agency that hires a dangerous, risk taking and law breaking person as an agent to carry out missions that no one else will, mainly because it might be deemed suicidal and rather insane to do so.

Vin Diesel started the franchise with Rob Cohen directing xXx, then when Diesel didn't return, reports had it that he had requested far too much money for the sequel, Lee Tamahori continued the franchise with Ice Cube taking the lead in xXx: State of the Union.

We already heard from Cohen how he ensured that the previous xXx character was killed on a DVD additional short:

"You mean when I blew his scalp off?...Never has a director gotten so much revenge on an actor. [laughs]…I was so angry by the time we got back from the press tour that when Sony came to me and said…'We are going to have a new one. We want you to shoot a scene that passes the torch.' I said, 'Hell with passing the torch, let's kill him.' Now I'm a little embarrassed by that, but I just laugh because it was just out of anger."

Then, he told us that he had been approached by the producer Joe Roth to return to the franchise:

"Joe Roth came to the dubbing stage [of the Mummy: The Tomb of the Dragon Emperor] just last week and sat down and said, 'I own all the rights to xXx. Vin wants to do another one would you be interested?' and I said, 'Yeah, if I can sit down with everybody and make sure the rules are set.'"

Of course Cohen and Diesel had a bit of a falling out and it was a little difficult to get them together again on screen, however it seems that the two of them reflected on it and have since moved on, well that's what Cohen said anyway.

"[Vin]s a different man. He's been sobered by the ups and downs of a career and I think he now understands what a good synergy we had on the set and that he took for granted…I also appreciate what he brings to the table, which is quite a bit. It was just like we were young and foolish, what can I say - or he was young and I was foolish."

So with all that back then, is it any wonder that today Variety through Coming Soon are telling us that Columbia Pictures is talking to them both about a sequel? No not really, Joe Roth was doing that in July.

The story claims that there's a title but no script, frankly I find that a bit daft, surely the story idea and script will determine the title. Currently it's claimed to be xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, which I find a big mistake.

They shouldn't be gearing the whole film to focus on his return, they should be finding writers to create a great story for the character. Right now that's a title made to flatter a star, and if the director had issues with him before, creating that title and pitching the film in a certain way is going to be winding him up no end.

Still it's an indication that the film is going ahead, although this unconfirmed report isn't as strong as Rob Cohen announcing he's been approached already. Now we need to hear from Vin Diesel himself.



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