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Donnie Yen takes over Jet Li's xXx: The Return of Xander Cage role

Vin Diesel will be returning to the franchise he left behind fourteen years ago when he reprises his role of the extreme sports athlete-turned secret agent Xander Cage in the upcoming XXX: THE RETURN OF XANDER CAGE. The sequel will be taking some influence from the hugely popular FAST & FURIOUS franchise and surround Vin Diesel with an ensemble of other extreme types as they face off against another team in a race to recover a mysterious weapon known as Pandora's Box. The leader of that other team was to be played by Jet Li, but a recent Facebook post by Vin Diesel led to some confusion as it listed Donnie Yen in Jet Li's role.

A press-release by Paramount and Revolution Studios today confirmed that Jet Li is out and Donnie Yen is in. Yen will play an "alpha-warrior" named Xiang who will go fist-to-fist with Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) in their search for the sinister doomsday weapon. XXX: THE RETURN OF XANDER CAGE producer Joe Roth said that "Donnie’s fighting skill and on-screen charisma make him a perfect foil for Vin, we are all excited to see these two great action stars go toe to toe." While it's a shame to see Jet Li depart, Donnie Yen is a great choice to replace him, and Paramount/Revolution is almost certainly counting on his star rising significantly higher once ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY is released.

A synopsis for XXX: THE RETURN OF XANDER CAGE:

The third explosive chapter of the blockbuster franchise that redefined the spy thriller finds extreme athlete turned government operative Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) 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, Xander finds himself enmeshed in a deadly conspiracy that points to collusion at the highest levels of world governments.

XXX: THE RETURN OF XANDER CAGE will likely be released in 2017.

Source: Paramount

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