Having just backed out of Sony's XXX: The Return of Xander Cage starring Vin Diesel, director Rob Cohen has signed on to direct the event-sized action film Medieval for New Regency, which is a story described as The Magnificent Seven set in the Middle Ages.

According to Variety, New Regency acquired the spec script by Alex Litvak and Michael Finch in an $800,000 against $1.6 million deal. McG will be involved in a producing capacity.

Cohen, who studied anthropology and European history at Harvard, said he was drawn by the opportunity to tap into the historical period and create a heightened reality with big action pieces. Regency has kept the script hush-hush, but sources said the action brings together warriors from disparate cultures.

"It was a tough decision about 'XXX,' " Cohen said. "I talked to Vin over the weekend and said I hoped they would wait, but that if they find another director who's right for the sequel, I certainly wouldn't be angry. But I could not let something like this go."

Cohen said the picture will go into production by October.

Do you think Cohen dropping out of XXX: The Return of Xander Cage was a big mistake?