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When it was announced that Vin Diesel was going to return to the XXX franchise, it was more or less assumed that we’d be forgetting all about that failed and ill-advised sequel titled XXX: STATE OF UNION. That film, which came out threeyears after the first film, did not feature Diesel, it was not directed by the same person, and it did NOOOOOT do well. Critically ravaged, and seen by around 17 people who may- or may not- have been there at gunpoint, STATE OF THE UNION was a flop. And that was back in 2005, so many folks considered the franchise viability of the XXX brand dead.

Until Vin Diesel, Mr. “I Returned To The ‘FAST & FURIOUS’ Series And Helped Turn It Into A Global Phenomenon,” announced that he’d be returning to the role of Xander Cage.

So the popular logic was that he and director D.J. Caruso would basically act like STATE OF THE UNION never happened, and just try to retool what worked with the first film and give Diesel another hit franchise to milk for all its worth. 

Not so fast!

According to Moviehole, there will be one huge element from STATE OF THE UNION involved in XXX: THE RETURN OF XANDER CAGE, and it’s no small bit:

Its Star:

ice-cube-triple-x.jpg

That’s right. Ice Cube‘s Darius Stone will be joining Diesel’s Cage in the 2017 relaunch of the series.

What’s more is that the report also claims that Diesel’s ambitions for the recharged franchise is to open it up into a FAST & FURIOUS-style ensemble action series. Therefore, it makes sense that Cube will be involved, since Diesel wants the film to feature a team of bad-asses and not just be a solo vehicle like the first two movies were. 

While conventional wisdom would question the inclusion of the star from a tanked sequel, it probably helps that the film in question came out some 12 years before XXX: THE RETURN OF XANDER CAGE comes out. All that time has likely allowed most audiences to forget about SoTU entirely (you know, the 17 people who saw it), and it also allowed Cube to grow into a bankable star in his own right. Between his BARBERSHOP series (which sprouted a spinoff and a TV series), his appearances in the hit JUMP STREET movies, and the success of his two RIDE ALONG films, Cube is now a trusted entity in Hollywood circles. So the producers probably feel the positives of including him outweigh whatever SoTU baggage he may bring with him.

What do you think of Diesel’s plans for the XXX franchise? Are you excited to see the cast expand, possibly with Cage and Stone being like the Toretto and O’Connor of the team? Discuss.

SOURCE: Moviehole