Whatever you may think of Vin Diesel as an actor, you have to admire his dedication to his franchises. I mean, who else but Diesel would hang in for another round of extreme adventure sports and espionage? About a year ago we got the news that Diesel was reuniting with Rob Cohen for another installment of the xXx franchise, but according to The Hollywood Reporter there has been a small personnel change, and now Ericson Core (Invincible) will be stepping in to direct since Cohen is off to work on his period actioner Medieval.

Diesel likes to be in control of his franchises and xXx was no exception. Apparently, the muscly actor had to give Core his blessing before the DP/ Director could get to work, although I'm sure their previous working relationship on Fast and Furious probably helped. According to reports, the film will be called xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, and focus on Cage's return to the 'agency' after an eight-year absence. Now, if you remember, Cage was reported as dead in the second film, but Richard Wilkes (who wrote the original movie) will have to think of something, I guess.

Now I'll admit that I've seen both xXx films (I even went to the theater for the first one) and other than a marginally clever joke about the 'death of Bond' and some truly craptastic dialog, I don't remember much about it (and when it comes to Ice Cube's installment in the franchise, I think I'd probably be better off if I didn't remember that one, too). So I guess on the upside we can take solace in the fact the latest installment couldn't be worse than last time, or can it?

xXx: The Return of Xander Cage begins shooting early next year.