Though original director Rob Cohen has dropped his involvement in "XXX: The Return of Xander Cage", Columbia Pictures apparently is moving forward with the action movie project. The studio has tapped cinematographer-turned-director Ericson Core to fill the empty director seat and helm the third installment of the "XXX" franchise.
By replacing Cohen for "The Return of Xander Cage", this cinematographer of 2003 superhero movie "Daredevil" will once again team up with Vin Diesel. He was the director of photography of Diesel-starring "The Fast and the Furious". In 2006, he launched his directing career with NFL drama "Invincible".
As for Cohen, he was agreed to reteam with Diesel when the idea of a second sequel for the "XXX" series was thrown in back in 2008. However, in June 2009, the director of "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" became attached to a feature project from 20th Century Fox called "Medieval".
"XXX: The Return of Xander Cage" is penned by screenwriter duo behind "Terminator Salvation", John Brancato and Michael Ferris, and "XXX" writer Richard Wilkes polished the script. The story reportedly involves Cage's return to the National Security Agency after an eight-year absence. There is no word on when the movie will start shooting.