Vin Diesel to return as Xander Cage in third xXx film

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Grab your Monster energy drinks and get stoked: According to a post on Vin Diesel’s Instagram (see below), Extreme sports athlete Xander Cage’s adrenaline-fueled journey will continue this December as the actor will begin filming xXx: The Return of Xander Cage in the Philippines.

Clearly, the actor is staying true to his action-hero roots, but we can’t help but feel like this role is something of a step backwards for Diesel. The first two films in the series were panned by critics and the second (xXx: State of the Union) was a box-office flop that replaced Diesel — who wasn’t involved at all — with Ice Cube.

Related: The Fast and Furious Revisited

Of course, we always get caught assuming that actors and actresses want to do something other than have some fun and cash a check. After all, as Diesel says in his post, they used to call him Air Diesel on set. Maybe he just loves playing with big, loud toys and getting paid millions of dollars to do so. His post’s hashtag (#ILiveForThisS***) certainly makes it seem like he’s psyched to be moving forward with the franchise.

To be fair, If you star in a film that grosses $1.5 billion (Furious 7), you’re pretty much free to live for whatever you want.

Another thing to remember: Diesel didn’t star in The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift either. While many Hollywood insiders felt that the (awful) film was the death knell for the series, it rebounded in a spectacularly-profitable way when Diesel & Co. returned.

We’ll have to wait and see if the actor can resurrect this ailing franchise as well. If he does, it might prove to be Xander Cage’s most impressive stunt yet — and solidify Diesel’s bankability as a top-tier action star.

Paramount Pictures has yet to set a release date for xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, but we’ll be following closely, so to stay tuned for updates.

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