xXx: State of the Union (2005) - News Poster

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Vin Diesel Teases Third ‘xXx’ Movie

Vin Diesel Teases Third ‘xXx’ Movie
Vin Diesel is looking to bring back his Xander Cage character for another “xXx” movie, announcing that the untitled project will begin shooting in December in the Philippines.

A spokesperson for Revolution Studios, which owns the rights to the franchise, told Variety that Diesel is in negotiations to return.

“While I was filming XXX, guys on set called me Air Diesel… The time to return has come. Filming starts December in the Philippines,” the actor revealed in a post to his Instagram account.

Diesel starred in the original 2002 film, directed by Rob Cohen, as underground sports star Xander Cage, who was blackmailed by the U.S. government to take down a gang of international terrorists. The film, released by Sony, performed well with $277 million worldwide.

Diesel was not part of the sequel, with Ice Cube playing the lead role in 2005’s “xXx: State of the Union,” which grossed $71 million worldwide for Sony.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Diesel Departs XXX Sequel

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Diesel Departs XXX Sequel
Vin Diesel has reportedly pulled out of his XXX comeback.

The action man is no longer attached to XXX : The Return of Xander Cage, according to website CineFools.com.

Diesel's departure follows news director Rob Cohen quit the project this summer and was replaced by little-known moviemaker Ericson Core.

MovieHole.net reports Diesel had been training for the film since August. Details about the reasons for his departure have not been released.

Diesel initially agreed to return to the XXX franchise after rapper/actor Ice Cube played the lead in xXx 2: State of The Union.

Next 'XXX' sports Core curriculum

Next 'XXX' sports Core curriculum
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
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Diesel To Return To XXX

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Diesel To Return To XXX
Action movie star Vin Diesel is set to make another XXX movie, returning to the franchise he ditched after the first film.

Diesel and original director Rob Cohen - who both sat out of 2005 sequel XXX: State of the Union - are in talks to reunite for a new film, XXX: The Return of Xander Cage.

The writing team responsible for Terminator 3 has been handed the job of creating a script, while filming is expected to begin early next year.


'Change' going to do Johnson good

<br/> 'Change' going to do Johnson good
Chris Johnson has landed a lead role on ABC's comedy pilot The More Things Change ... for director Todd Phillips.

Meanwhile, Beth Riesgraf and Gina Bellman have joined the TNT drama pilot Leverage, to be directed by Dean Devlin.

Change, from Regency TV and writer Allan Loeb, is a single-camera comedy about a quartet of male friends who explore how male friendships endure through change. Johnson will play one of the four men. His character, Rick, is a young man who suddenly has an astounding revelation in his life that turns his friendships upside down.

Johnson's credits include the feature XXX: State of the Union and the UPN series South Beach. He is repped by APA and Luber/Roklin Management.

Leverage, written by John Rogers and Chris Downey, centers on Nate Ford (Timothy Hutton), a former insurance investigator-turned-thief who is the brains behind a team of accomplished hooligans and high-tech outlaws.

Riesgraf (Showtime's pilot Insatiable) will play Parker, an accomplished burglar who exudes dorkiness, eccentricity and sexuality.

XXX: State of the Union

XXX: State of the Union
With XXX: State of the Union, a follow-up to the original XXX, its producers have clearly positioned the action-thriller franchise as a film series with a twist: Its death-defying protagonist will change with every new movie, thus allowing the filmmakers to build each episode around the personality of that actor. While State of the Union shows little interest in challenging the extreme stunts of the first Vin Diesel movie, guest star Ice Cube is a much more ingratiating and amusing personality, so the movie has a better balance between its implausible stunts and characters.

The movie, directed by James Bond refugee Lee Tamahori, should draw at least some of the action fans that made the first film a $276.8 million worldwide success. Plus, Ice Cube gives the film street cred, so it should bring in an even greater urban audience.

State of the Union is a throwback. The hero uses no martial arts; he simply slugs it out with opponents until he prevails. Vehicle mayhem and explosions are emphasized over CGI. And writer Simon Kinberg deploys racial humor and political situations that feel a tad antique.

Indeed this alternate reality of the current state of our union, channeled from John Frankenheimer's Seven Days in May, imagines a popular sitting U.S. president (a stiff Peter Strauss) determined to cut military spending and a renegade Secretary of Defense (Willem Dafoe, almost as stiff) willing to stage a coup to thwart that ambition.

A raid on the National Security Agency's top-secret Virginia headquarters results in many dead agents, but the prize, Samuel L. Jackson's agent Augustus Gibbons, returning from the first film, escapes. Suddenly, Gibbons needs a new Agent XXX -- that last one died, someone says -- to get to the bottom of this home-grown terrorism. Only his choice, ex-Special Ops soldier Darius Stone (Ice Cube), is in military prison.

You would think a top NSA agent could snap his fingers and his man would be released, but then you wouldn't understand the action requirements of "XXX" movies. Darius must escape his high-security lock-up through fights, chases, rooftop leaps and a helicopter rescue.

Once inside the Beltway, the world shrinks to the point where all the characters have a past with one another. The Defense Secretary is the guy responsible for having Darius imprisoned (for breaking his jaw). Augustus and Secretary Deckert have also clashed previously, creating no little animosity between them. And Darius instinctively seeks help from an old flame, Lola (the spectacular Nona Gaye), an improbably chop-shop operator who runs an equally improbable car-theft ring just down the street from the White House.

Darius and gadget expert Toby Lee Shavers (Michael Roof), another returnee from XXX, gradually uncover a plot against the U.S. government. Yet Deckert and his nasty toady, FBI agent Kyle Steele (Scott Speedman), seem two or three steps ahead of the heroes, while a beautiful senatorial aide named Charlie (Sunny Mabrey) switches sides more often than a politician in an election year. Essentially, the film comes down to Ice Cube's line that the fate of the Free World lies in the hands of "a bunch of hustlers and thieves."

Ice Cube's burly physique -- more that of a tenacious linebacker than a quick-responding half back -- makes for a different kind of action hero. Surly stares and glowering cynicism replace the bon mots of the more suave international spies of moviedom. But Ice Cube certainly has his own brand of cool that covers up the widest plot holes and lamest stabs at humor. Jackson gives the film an indispensable whiff of reality, but apparently Dafoe has run out of ways of making villains interesting.

Tamahori, who showed promise as an eclectic and edgy director early in his career, now seems content to guide large-scale, impersonal Hollywood productions to the screen. At least he's getting good at that game. State of the Union is a smooth blend of visual special effects, exceptional stunts, fluid photography, sharp design and a possible best-selling soundtrack into a boxoffice package.

I'm taking bets now, though: The next Agent XXX will be a woman.

XXX: STATE OF THE UNION

Columbia Pictures

Revolution Studios presents an Original Film production

Credits:

Director: Lee Tamahori

Screenwriter: Simon Kinberg

Producers: Neal H. Moritz, Arne L. Schmidt

Executive producers: Todd Garner, Rob Cohen, Derek Dauchy

Director of photography: David Tattersall

Production designer: Gavin Bocquet

Music: Marco Beltrami

Costumes: Sanja Milkovic Hays

Editors: Mark Goldblatt, Steven Rosenbaum, Todd E. Miller

Cast:

Darius Stone: Ice Cube

Agent Gibbons: Samuel L. Jackson

Gen. Deckert: Willem Dafoe

Agent Steele: Scott Speedman

President Sanford: Peter Strauss

Zeke: Xzbit

Toby Lee Shavers: Michael Roof

Charlie: Sunny Mabrey

Lola: Nona Gaye

MPAA rating PG-13

Running time -- 100 minutes

'Hitchhikers' thumb ride better than 'XXX' express

The vicissitudes of the film business were dramatically highlighted this past weekend when Sony-Revolution Studios' massive worldwide day-and-date release of the highly touted XXX: State of the Union pulled in only $15.5 million as part of its overseas bow. With about 5,000 screens working in 65 territories, the action thriller starring Ice Cube was the weekend's leading offshore boxoffice draw, but it was hardly a match for Disney-Spyglass' less-heralded The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, which took in an impressive $8.5 million from 735 screens in only three countries (United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand). XXX's disappointing kickoff came at a lingering slow boxoffice period at home and abroad, delaying expectations for the spark to set off the industry's version of the summer blockbuster season. Prospects have now turned to Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven, which 20th Century Fox is scheduled to unleash this coming weekend in nearly 100 overseas territories in a giant day-and-date opening with North America.

'Hitchhiker's' cosmic bow has 'XXX' settling for 3rd

'Hitchhiker's' cosmic bow has 'XXX' settling for 3rd
It was the race that wasn't. With just two new wide releases hitting theaters this past weekend, Buena Vista's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy took first place as it beamed up a stellar $21.1 million to best the third-place finish and lackluster $12.7 million racked up by Sony's XXX: State of the Union. Heading into the weekend, early tracking indicated the two films were in a neck-and-neck race for the top spot, but in the end it was the cosmic Hitchhiker that easily won the day. Last weekend's boxoffice champ, Universal's The Interpreter, held tight in the second spot with a moderate drop of 39% on its sophomore session. The Sydney Pollack-helmed political thriller grossed $13.8 million, which takes the 10-day cume to $43.2 million. Industry observers had been quietly optimistic that the release of Hitchhiker and XXX would spark the interest of moviegoers this past weekend and would help snap the business out of its nine-week drought -- but that wasn't the case. The total boxoffice for the 122 films tracked by The Hollywood Reporter was $90.3 million -- down some 12% from the comparable frame last year and consequently marking the 10th consecutive down session.

'Hitchhikers' thumb ride better than 'XXX' express

'Hitchhikers' thumb ride better than 'XXX' express
The vicissitudes of the film business were dramatically highlighted this past weekend when Sony-Revolution Studios' massive worldwide day-and-date release of the highly touted XXX: State of the Union pulled in only $15.5 million as part of its overseas bow. With about 5,000 screens working in 65 territories, the action thriller starring Ice Cube was the weekend's leading offshore boxoffice draw, but it was hardly a match for Disney-Spyglass' less-heralded The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, which took in an impressive $8.5 million from 735 screens in only three countries (United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand). XXX's disappointing kickoff came at a lingering slow boxoffice period at home and abroad, delaying expectations for the spark to set off the industry's version of the summer blockbuster season. Prospects have now turned to Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven, which 20th Century Fox is scheduled to unleash this coming weekend in nearly 100 overseas territories in a giant day-and-date opening with North America.

Rivals leave 'XXX' in soft state

Rivals leave 'XXX' in soft state
SYDNEY -- Hot weather hampered the weekend boxoffice for XXX: State of the Union but not as much as competition from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Interpreter and The Pacifier, which gave the action sequel a soft opening and kept it at No. 2 in most European venues. From just three territories, Hitchhiker took an estimated $8.3 million on 800 screens, over half XXX's total of about $15 million from a huge 70 territories and 5,000 screens. Coming in third was Interpreter with $7.1 million at 2,325 dates in 33 territories, lifting the cume for Sydney Pollack's thriller to $39 million. Following its popularity Stateside, distributor Buena Vista International proved it had no reason to panic as Hitchhiker opened No. 1 in all three of its first foreign territories.

'Hitchhiker' a boxoffice nova

'Hitchhiker' a boxoffice nova
What was thought by many in the industry to be a tight horse race between the two films debuting in wide release at the boxoffice this weekend turned into a rout instead. A sci-fi adventure-comedy about interplanetary hitchhiking, Buena Vista's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, sizzled in the top spot with an estimated $21.7 million, while a high-octane action-thriller, Sony's XXX: State of the Union, fizzled in third place with an estimated $13.7 million. The opening for Hitchhiker, from Spyglass Entertainment and Touchstone Pictures, proved to be a company best in April for the Disney distribution arm and also was the highest-grossing debut for a PG-rated film for the month. Buena Vista's Holes previously held both those titles with $16.3 million. Martin Freeman stars in the Garth Jennings-directed Hitchhiker, which was based on the popular novel by Douglas Adams. The XXX sequel's dour debut -- relative to its industry-estimated $87 million cost -- was a far cry from the stellar $44.5 million opening of the original Revolution Studios picture, which starred Vin Diesel and Samuel L. Jackson. Ice Cube and Jackson star in the PG-13 sequel, which was helmed by Lee Tamahori.

Rivals leave 'XXX' in soft state

Rivals leave 'XXX' in soft state
SYDNEY -- Hot weather hampered the weekend boxoffice for XXX: State of the Union but not as much as competition from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Interpreter and The Pacifier, which gave the action sequel a soft opening and kept it at No. 2 in most European venues. From just three territories, Hitchhiker took an estimated $8.3 million on 800 screens, over half XXX's total of about $15 million from a huge 70 territories and 5,000 screens. Coming in third was Interpreter with $7.1 million at 2,325 dates in 33 territories, lifting the cume for Sydney Pollack's thriller to $39 million. Following its popularity Stateside, distributor Buena Vista International proved it had no reason to panic as Hitchhiker opened No. 1 in all three of its first foreign territories.

'Hitchhiker' a boxoffice nova

'Hitchhiker' a boxoffice nova
What was thought by many in the industry to be a tight horse race between the two films debuting in wide release at the boxoffice this weekend turned into a rout instead. A sci-fi adventure-comedy about interplanetary hitchhiking, Buena Vista's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, sizzled in the top spot with an estimated $21.7 million, while a high-octane action-thriller, Sony's XXX: State of the Union, fizzled in third place with an estimated $13.7 million. The opening for Hitchhiker, from Spyglass Entertainment and Touchstone Pictures, proved to be a company best in April for the Disney distribution arm and also was the highest-grossing debut for a PG-rated film for the month. Buena Vista's Holes previously held both those titles with $16.3 million. Martin Freeman stars in the Garth Jennings-directed Hitchhiker, which was based on the popular novel by Douglas Adams. The XXX sequel's dour debut -- relative to its industry-estimated $87 million cost -- was a far cry from the stellar $44.5 million opening of the original Revolution Studios picture, which starred Vin Diesel and Samuel L. Jackson. Ice Cube and Jackson star in the PG-13 sequel, which was helmed by Lee Tamahori.

Where the boys are this weekend

Where the boys are this weekend
It's sure to be a foot race for a fan base this weekend at the movies. Both new wide releases -- Buena Vista Pictures' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Sony Pictures' XXX: State of the Union -- are looking to draw young males, and the winner will be decided by whichever group of fans shows up in greater numbers and how wide that core fan base expands. Suspense is sure to build because industry insiders are hoping these two broad-based pictures will provide the necessary shot in the arm that the recently beleaguered boxoffice needs. The Walt Disney Co.'s Touchstone Pictures might have the upper hand with the first film adaptation of Douglas Adams' uber-popular book The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Originally done in 1978 as a BBC radio show about a group of interplanetary travelers and later turned into the widely successful novel and a TV series, the cult satire has a loyal and devoted following. Whether that fan base translates into moviegoers remains to be seen, but sources say tracking puts the film in the mid-$20 million range. The film version is based on a screenplay originally written by Adams. After the author died unexpectedly in 2001, the script was rewritten by Karey Kirkpatrick (Chicken Run, James and the Giant Peach.) Directing the film is Garth Jennings, who along with Nick Goldsmith make up the British commercial and video production and directing team of Hammer & Tongs. Hitchhiker marks Jennings' feature film debut. Spyglass Entertainment is co-producing the PG-rated film. The sci-fi adventure stars Martin Freeman as Arthur Dent, with Mos Def filling the role of Ford Prefect. Also featured are Bill Nighy, Zooey Deschanel, Alan Rickman, Sam Rockwell and John Malkovich. Hitchhiker is sure to play huge on college campuses, but its weekend gross is likely to be more dependent on positive reviews than the other wide opener in the market. The film bows in 3,133 theaters. Sony will open Revolution Studios' XXX: State of the Union on 3,480 screens. A continuation of 2002's high-octane spy actioner XXX, which earned $141 million after opening to $44.5 million, the sequel features neither the original film's star nor its original director. Vin Diesel declined to reprise his role as Xander Cage, an extreme sports athlete-turned-secret agent. And Rob Cohen, who bowed out of directing the sequel, took an executive producing role. Neal Moritz and his Original Film production company produced the movie for Revolution.

'Interpreter' regains top o'seas spot with $12.6 mil

'Interpreter' regains top o'seas spot with $12.6 mil
Bolstered by 18 new openings and 2,378 prints working in 34 countries -- including berths in the United Kingdom, Germany, Mexico, Korea and China -- The Interpreter recaptured first place in the overseas boxoffice battle with a weekend take of an estimated $12.6 million. The Nicole Kidman-Sean Penn political-intrigue thriller beat out the previous weekend's b.o. leader, the Vin Diesel family action-comedy The Pacifier ($8.9 million from 2,364), in a generally lackluster spring session that is awaiting the arrival this coming weekend of Sony-Revolution Studios' XXX: State of the Union, the first massive day-and-date global release of the industry's pushed-forward summer period. The weekend was also marked by the admission of Robots to the elite club of $100 million international grossers, with the CGI-animated film reaching that goal after picking up $4.8 million from 4,315 screens in 29 countries. The 20th Century Fox release is eyeing considerably more from the international boxoffice, with dates in Japan, Korea, China and Eastern Europe still to come.

Xzibit warms to 'Gridiron' drama for Col

Xzibit warms to 'Gridiron' drama for Col
Xzibit is in final negotiations to join Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in Columbia Pictures' upcoming drama Gridiron Gang. Xzibit will play Malcolm, assistant coach of the team in the film, which was inspired by a 1993 documentary and follows a probation officer (Johnson) who forms a football team of juvenile inmates. The players overcome huge obstacles, gain self-esteem and discipline and, in one season, go from brawling beginners to contenders for the division title. Jeff Maguire wrote the screenplay. Neal Moritz is producing through his Original Film banner together with the documentary makers Lee Stanley and Shane Stanley. Phil Joanou is directing. Filming is scheduled to begin at the end of May at Camp Kilpatrick, a juvenile detention facility in the Santa Monica Mountains. Xzibit will next be seen in XXX: State of the Union and Derailed. His past credits include 8 Mile and The Chronicles of Riddick. Xzibit is repped by CAA.

Sony, Revolution looking to future

Sony, Revolution looking to future
Revolution Studios, whose current production/distribution agreement with Sony Pictures expires at the end of next year, has begun negotiations to extend the pact. Although it is expected that Sony will demand terms more favorable for the studio, Revolution, whose future at Sony once looked questionable, should remain firmly within the Sony fold. While Revolution founder Joe Roth is directing his sixth movie, the racial drama Freedomland, on location in New York, studio sources said attorney Skip Brittenham is negotiating a new deal on Revolution's behalf with Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman Michael Lynton. Revolution, which was founded in 2000, has released 28 films and has three more releases scheduled for this year: XXX: State of the Union, the action sequel that Sony will release April 29; the horror remake The Fog; and Chris Columbus' adaptation of the Broadway musical Rent. Freedomland and the Adam Sandler comedy Bench Warmers are on Revolution's 2006 release schedule. That record leaves the 5-year-old Revolution just three films shy of fulfilling its original 36-film minimum commitment made to its equity partners.

Sony, Revolution looking to future

Revolution Studios, whose current production/distribution agreement with Sony Pictures expires at the end of next year, has begun negotiations to extend the pact. Although it is expected that Sony will demand terms more favorable for the studio, Revolution, whose future at Sony once looked questionable, should remain firmly within the Sony fold. While Revolution founder Joe Roth is directing his sixth movie, the racial drama Freedomland, on location in New York, studio sources said attorney Skip Brittenham is negotiating a new deal on Revolution's behalf with Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman Michael Lynton. Revolution, which was founded in 2000, has released 28 films and has three more releases scheduled for this year: XXX: State of the Union, the action sequel that Sony will release April 29; the horror remake The Fog; and Chris Columbus' adaptation of the Broadway musical Rent. Freedomland and the Adam Sandler comedy Bench Warmers are on Revolution's 2006 release schedule. That record leaves the 5-year-old Revolution just three films shy of fulfilling its original 36-film minimum commitment made to its equity partners.

'XXX' hits spot for Speedman

'XXX' hits spot for Speedman
Scott Speedman, Nona Gaye and Sunny Mabrey are feeling the XXX fever, joining Ice Cube, Samuel L. Jackson, Willem Dafoe and Michael Roof in the sequel XXX: State of the Union. Lee Tamahori is directing for Revolution Studios, Columbia Pictures and producer Neal Moritz. Shooting starts in mid-July. The latest installment, penned by Simon Kinberg (Mr. and Mrs. Smith), is largely set in Washington and is described as a thriller.

Diesel Wants to be Taken Seriously

  • WENN
Diesel Wants to be Taken Seriously
Tinseltown beefcake Vin Diesel is sick of making action movies - because he wants to be taken serious as an actor. The XXX star believes Hollywood has pigeon-holed him in the action genre and wants to branch out into different film types, including adaptations of Shakespeare. One movie executive says, "He wants to be the next Tom Hanks." Another film boss adds, "Maybe he can just go do (William Shakespeare) in one movie and get it out of his system, like Keanu (Reeves)." However Diesel's thespian dreams will have to be put on hold for now. Vin has several action flicks in the pipeline, including A Man Apart, Pitch Black sequel The Chronicles Of Riddick and XXX2. Vin recently met up with Nicole Kidman to discuss the prospect of a remake of Guys And Dolls.

See also

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