Martial Arts Star Donnie Yen to Play Villain in 'xXx 3'

Donnie Yen Headshot - H 2014
<p>Donnie Yen Headshot - H 2014</p>   |   AP Images
Paramount just closed a deal to distribute the movie.

Martial arts master Donnie Yen has nabbed the villain role in xXx 3: The Return of Xander Cage, the Vin Diesel-starring reboot of the 2002 action pic.

Paramount just closed a deal to distribute the movie, which has D.J. Caruso (I Am Number Four) directing.

Diesel made the casting announcement on his Facebook page.

The movie’s plot, per the studio, sees operative Xander Cage coming out of self-imposed exile and on a collision course with deadly alpha warrior Xiang 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, Cage finds himself enmeshed in a deadly conspiracy that points to collusion at the highest levels of world governments.

Yen will play Xiang. The part was originally filled by Jet Li.

The movie began production in the Dominican Republic last week.

Yen is a huge name in the martial arts world for his high-kicking action flicks such as the Ip Man series and cross-over hit Hero. American audiences saw him in Guillermo del Toro’s Blade 2 and the actor is part of the ensemble cast of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.