Next 'XXX' sports Core curriculum

Will direct third installment of the franchise

Ericson Core has signed to helm "XXX: The Return of Xander Cage," Columbia's third installment in the action franchise. Neal Moritz and Joe Roth are producing.

Vin Diesel is reprising the role of the extreme sports athlete-turned-government operative he originated in the 2002 movie directed by Rob Cohen. Diesel and Cohen skipped the 2005 sequel, "XXX: State of the Union," which starred Ice Cube and was helmed by Lee Tamahori.

Last year, Diesel and Cohen agreed to reteam for the new installment, but in June, Cohen segued to helm "Medieval" for Regency.

Columbia went on the hunt for a helmer, who also had to get the OK from Diesel. Diesel has worked with Core before, though not under an actor-director relationship; Core, a cinematographer-turned-director, worked as DP on Diesel's 2001 flick "The Fast and the Furious."

John Brancato and Michael Ferris ("Terminator Salvation") wrote the script for "Xander Cage." It involves Cage's return to the National Security Agency after an eight-year absence. Richard Wilkes, who wrote the original movie, did a recent polish.

The studio hopes to move fast, capitalizing on Hollywood brand hunger and Diesel's resurgence as a boxoffice draw, and aims to roll cameras early next year.

Core, repped by Gersh, made his directorial debut with the 2006 football drama "Invincible." He's attached to direct the coming-of-age thriller "Conrail" at New Line and the Touchstone war thriller "Liberty."
comments powered by Disqus