It’s good to be Vin Diesel. While his return to the xXx franchise has been rumored for years, the news is finally official. How did the announcement go down? Social media, of course. Vin used Instagram to kick the hype train in gear.

“While I was filming XXX, guys on set called me Air Diesel… The time to return has come,” he wrote. “Filming starts December in the Philippines.”

Why the return now? Well, it’s not because he just felt like it. He’s riding high on a billion dollar franchise with Furious 7. It’s safe to assume that Paramount will throw money his way to get him back as Xander Cage.

Box office numbers hold up well for a Vin Diesel return. When it hit theaters in 2002, it grossed $142 million domestically and $135 million internationally. Ice Cube’s xXx managed just $26 million domestic and $44 million internationally.

It’s not a hard sell for Paramount to want a sequel. The international box office is where movies head deep into the black with profits. You only need to see the Furious 7 numbers out of China to see the impact. Domestically? The film has aged enough where people would want another Vin Diesel helmed xXx.

Hey, my thoughts exactly.

The Return of Xander Cage

There are some plot points that will need to be addressed. Namely, Xander Cage was supposed to be dead. What, you didn’t see xXx: State of the Union? You were not alone. In the sequel, Samuel L. Jackson mentions Cage is dead while recruiting Ice Cube’s Darius Stone.

Two ways the third xXx can fix this. One? Say to hell with canon. It’s Hollywood, act like the second film didn’t happen. If Disney can wipe the slate of the Star Wars expanded universe, no one is going to be pissed we have to forget the second xXx happened.

The second option is a chronological sequel. Let it take place right after the events of the first xXx. He was off to paradise and gets pulled into another ‘save the world’ storyline. Either one works.

It will be a popcorn movie. We all go to be entertained. Like Yury said in the bar, Xander Cage is awesome. Snowboarding, motorbikes…

vin diesel as xander cage in xXx

The big question is will Samuel L. Jackson be back? Who doesn’t love him screaming into the camera. You can’t have xXx without him. Oh, and Agent Shavers. Damn it, so close to having my last name in a movie. Though, people do pronounce it all the time as Shavers.

xXx 3 Details

Vin Diesel confirmed filming would begin in December in the Philippines. I’m guessing a lot of the movie will take place overseas. Especially in Asia.

It’s the hot box office market, and may as well get a tropical vacation tossed in while filming. Casting and a release date have not been nailed down, and could present a problem.

Furious 8 is slated to release April 14, 2017. Considering filming starts later this year, post-production into next year, 2017 looks like the year Vin Diesel as Xander Cage returns.

Best guess? The studio holds xXx 3 towards the end of summer. Late July, early August. Let Furious 8, Marvel/DC and Disney frontload the summer. Grab the backend.

Want to feel old? Check out the original trailer to xXx:

One last ride…

Tell me what you think below. Hyped for some Vin Diesel as Xander Cage? I loved the first xXx, and will reluctantly say I watch the second if I channel surf past it.

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