Deadline New York is reporting that XXX: The Return of Xander Cage has left Columbia Pictures and negotiations are now underway for Paramount to finance the production and distribute the film in late 2011 or early 2012.
Rob Cohen, who had left the project to make Medieval (that project has stalled), has returned as the director and he will reunite with his The Fast and the Furious and XXX star Vin Diesel. Cohen will shoot the new installment with 3D cameras.
"I feel what we did in the beginning of the decade was bring a different attitude to the action movie and a different kind of hero," Cohen told the site. "With the new 3D instrument and the techniques I can apply, we can create a different kind of cutting-edge experience in 3D by shooting it that way from the beginning the way James Cameron did 'Avatar.' This won't be fantasy characters, it takes place on Earth in real time. That's a new dimension to be explored, and I'm excited."
In the script, written by Michael Ferris and John Brancato, Xander Cage (Diesel) is left for dead, but returns to execute a very difficult assignment that only he can pull off.
Samuel L. Jackson will reprise his role as Agent Augustus Gibbons as well. Joe Roth and Neal Moritz will produce with Diesel and Samantha Vincent.
Diesel will star in the new "XXX" after he completes Fast Five, the next film in the "Fast and Furious" franchise.