The producers of the XXX franchise made every effort to remove Vin Diesel from the series. Not only did they turn the franchise over to Ice Cube for the sequel, they filmed a short for the XXX DVD where Diesel’s character, Xander Cage, gets his trademark scalp blown off.
Now, director Rob Cohen and Diesel have sat down with Revolution Studios’ Joe Roth to discuss bringing Cage back for XXX3. “Joe Roth came to the dubbing stage [of The Mummy] just last week, sat down and said, ‘I own all the rights to XXX. Vin wants to do another one. Would you be interested?'” said Cohen. “I said, ‘Yeah, if I can sit down with everybody and make sure that the rules are set.”
It would be easy enough to explain that Cage just faked his death. “You mean when I blew his scalp off? Never has a director gotten so much revenge on an actor. I was so mad. I was so angry by the time we got back from the press tour that when Sony came to me and said, ‘We’re going to have a new one, we want you to shoot a scene that passes the torch.’ I said, ‘Hell with passing the torch. Let’s kill him.’ Now I’m a little embarrassed by that, but I just laughed, because it was just out of anger.”
Everyone’s all grown up now, so XXX3 should be tension-free. “Yes, he has had a baby girl. He’s in a good relationship. I had dinner with him before he did Fast and Furious. He’s a different man. He’s been sobered by the ups and downs of a career, and I think he now understands what a good synergy we had on this set and that he took for granted. That would be a good thing, and I also appreciate what he brings to the table, which is quite a bit. It was just like we were young and foolish, or he was young and I was foolish.”