Columbia Pictures has hired Ericson Core to direct "XXX: The Return of Xander Cage," the third installment in the action franchise. Neal Moritz and Joe Roth are producing.
Vin Diesel will return as Xander Cage, an extreme sports athlete-turned-government agent. Rob Cohen directed the original "XXX," but both star and director decided to ignore the 2005 sequel, "XXX: State of the Union," which starred Ice Cube and was helmed by Lee Tamahori.
Cohen agreed to return as director last year, but dropped off and chose to work on "Medieval" instead.
The hiring of the new director must also get the approval from Diesel. The actor worked with Core before in the 2001 movie "The Fast and the Furious." Core was a cinematographer in that film.
Core made his directorial debut with the 2006 football flick "Invincible."
"Terminator Salvation" scriptwriters, John Brancato and Michael Ferris, wrote the script for "XXX: The Return of Xander Cage."
The plot involves Cage's return to the National Security Agency after an eight-year absence.
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