Casting is heating up on XXX: The Return of Xander Cage, with Vin Diesel returning as the title character and Samuel L. Jackson also reprising his role as Augustus Gibbons from 2002's xXx and the 2005 follow-up XXX: State of the Union. The sequel is rumored to center on Xander Cage forming a new team, with new cast members such as Deepika Padukone, Nina Dobrev, Ruby Rose, Tony Jaa, Conor McGregor and Jet Li already confirmed. Today we have a new report from Moviehole, which claims that XXX: State of the Union star Ice Cube will reprise his role as Darius Stone.

While this report has not yet been confirmed, the character is expected to play a major role in this sequel, according to the site's unspecified source. Unfortunately, they wouldn't offer any specific details on his role, or if he will be joining Xander Cage's team, or a rival team that is rumored to be lead by Jet Li. Here's what the site's unidentified source had to say about the casting.

"(He will be) a treat this time around - very funny, lots of great lines and he gets in on some terrific action sequences."

This franchise will follow the same path as Vin Diesel's Fast & Furious franchise, which has risen to new box office heights since being reconfigured as an action franchise. This new report reveals that Jet Li's character will be leading a separate team who will square off with Xander, but it wasn't confirmed if the martial arts star is playing the primary villain.

D.J. Caruso (Eagle Eye) is directing from a script by F. Scott Frazier (The Numbers Station). Vin Diesel producing alongside his sister Samantha Vincent, Jeff Kirschenbaum and Joe Roth. Production is scheduled to take place in Toronto and the Philippines. The sequel doesn't have a distributor yet, but several sources claim that Paramount Pictures will be the franchise's new home. What do you think about this new casting rumor?