Ericson Core to Direct <strong><em>XXX: The Return of Xander Cage</em></strong>
Ericson Core is set to direct XXX: The Return of Xander Cage, the third installment in the franchise for Columbia.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Vin Diesel reprises his 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 directed by Lee Tamahori.

Last year, Diesel and Cohen agreed to reteam for the new installment, but in June, Cohen opted to direct Medieval for Regency.

John Brancato and Michael Ferris wrote the script that involves Cage's return to the National Security Agency after an eight-year absence. Richard Wilkes, who wrote the original movie, did a recent polish.

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Production will begin early next year.