A lot has happened since the last update we got on the xXx franchise. According to Deadline.com, the extreme take on spy movies is now readying up its third installment with original director Rob Cohen indeed returning, along with original star Vin Diesel. Last fall, an announcement was made that Cohen couldn't do the sequel and that he was being replaced by Invincible helmer Ericson Core, who'd worked with Diesel while doing cinematography for Cohen's The Fast and the Furious. Additional change-ups for xXx 3 (potentially still titled xXx: The Return of Xander Cage) include a studio switch from Sony to Paramount and the unsurprising plan for it to be shot with 3D cameras.

Cohen's double back is due to the delay of another project, Medieval, on account of its planned shooting location in Dubrovnik, Croatia, being too popular a tourist destination. Diesel's return, on the other hand, is clearly because he's got no other options these days than to go back to franchises he initially tried to move on from (see Fast & Furious). Neither director nor actor is great by any means, but compared to the terrible Lee Tamahori-helmed, Ice Cube-starred xXx: State of the Union, this second sequel should return things back to the relative fun of the original movie. And this time, any avalanches being out-skied by Xander will look more ridiculously awesome in three-dimensions.

Here's what Cohen has to say about applying the new technology:
"I feel what we did in the beginning of the decade was bring a different attitude to the action movie and a different kind of hero," Cohen said. "With the new 3D instrument and the techniques I can apply, we can create a different kind of cutting-edge experience in 3D by shooting it that way from the beginning the way James Cameron did Avatar. This won't be fantasy characters, it takes place on Earth in real time. That's a new dimension to be explored, and I'm excited."
Cohen is getting some practice with the 3D cameras ahead of time by shooting a Coke commercial in the format. Presumably Diesel is also preparing, by working on his biceps so they look fantastic popping off the screen. He and his muscles may actually be seen in 3D before this, in the likely retrofitted Fast Five (the next Fast and the Furious installment, which opens in June, 2011), but he won't have experience with 3D cameras because that film won't be shooting in the format, only retroactively converted.