In 2002, then emerging actor Vin Diesel starred in the action-thriller xXx which became a blockbuster, grossing over $350M worldwide. Diesel played Xander Cage, the first recruit to the ultra-secret xXx spy program, alongside Samuel L. Jackson as Gibbons, the program’s leader. Now, Diesel breathes new life into the franchise with xXx: Return of Xander Cage -- a project fans have been demanding for nearly a decade.
For the action superstar, it was a nothing short of a homecoming. “There’s a need to re-visit this type of hero archetype,” says Diesel. “Xander is, in some ways, the reluctant hero, the anti-hero. It’s something that I’ve always felt like I owned. I always felt like, sooner or later, I’ll have to return to this character and right the wrongs of the past,” he says.
The xXx concept has always been and still is, about one bad-ass hero, able to handle everything in his way with a charm and humor no other secret agent has ever possessed. “We were very conscious of the status quo of spy films at the time of the first xXx. We had all the log lines that said, ‘It’s not your daddy’s secret agent’ or ‘a new breed of secret agent,’” Diesel says. “The shaping of xXx at its time, was that the heroes were white males who have a military background and they weren’t necessarily representative of the global audience. All of a sudden along came Xander Cage, who was anti-establishment and looked nothing like James Bond or Jason Bourne. He really was something wholly new and fresh,” says Diesel.
While the world has changed dramatically since the first film, undertones present in the original xXx, from the post 9/11 era, are still relevant today. “Production talks began for the first film pre-9/11,” says Diesel. “After 9/11 we realized that there could be a time or circumstance that would force a seemingly uncaring person to be patriotic. Our film was a call to action was born out of that.” Xander Cage was your rebel with a cause and that theme is echoed in his return.
“Xander is a person that society could write off as unimportant or of no value because of the type of music he listens to and we were saying that any of us could be heroic and patriotic if something feels as unjust as the plot proposed in the first xXx,” says Diesel. The xXx franchise is proving to be even more relevant to today’s market because of what’s going on globally. It’s taken a serious issue – government conspiracy and global destruction – and made it into a fun, save-the-world type of film.
The third explosive chapter of the blockbuster franchise that redefined the spy thriller, xXx: Return of Xander Cage finds extreme athlete turned government operative Xander Cage coming out of self-imposed exile and on a collision course with deadly alpha warrior Xiang (Donnie Yen) and his team in a race to recover a sinister and seemingly unstoppable weapon known as Pandora’s Box. Recruiting an all-new group of thrill-seeking cohorts, Xander finds himself enmeshed in a deadly conspiracy that points to collusion at the highest levels of world governments.
Directed by D.J. Caruso (Disturbia), xXx: The Return of Xander Cage is packed with the series’ signature deadpan wit and bad-ass attitude, raising the bar on extreme action with some of the most mind-blowing stunts to ever be caught on film.
Now playing across the Philippines, xXx: The Return of Xander Cage is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.