XXX: The Return of Xander Cage is gearing up to shoot soon, and two more big names have joined the cast. TwitchFilm reports that Vin Diesel will be re-teaming with his Furious 7 costar Tony Jaa. This international action superstar is not the only force to be reckoned with in the anticipated sequel. The legendary Jet Li has signed on as well.

No character details for either Tony Jaa or Jet Li have been revealed, and it isn't known if they are playing good guys or villains. Back in December, Vin Diesel himself announced that Samuel L. Jackson will be resuming his role as Gibbons. Another new cast member added to the mix is current UFC Featherweight Champion Conor McGregor.

Last month, it was rumored that Bollywood superstar Deepika Padukone had joined XXX: The Return of Xander Cage as its leading lady. That news has now been officially confirmed, and she will be siding with Xander and the good guys. Vin Diesel reportedly wanted the actress to co-star in Furious 7, which would have marked her American debut. The actress had to turn the role down due to prior commitments that couldn't be worked out.

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XXX: The Return of Xander Cage is the third movie in this action series. The first film was released in 2002 and was a box office success. Though, it did not receive very many good reviews across the board. Diesel didn't return in 2005's XXX: State of the Union, which saw Ice Cube taking over the lead role. Samuel L. Jackson did reprise his role in the sequel, so this latest installment will be his third time playing Gibbons, who has a very Nick Fury like way about himself.

A short film released on DVD actually showed Xander Cage dying. But he will be resurrected for the latest sequel. A revival of the series has been in the planning stages since Fast & Furious debuted in 2009. The fourth installment in the long running series was an unexpected blockbuster hit, and helped refuel that franchise. Sony hoped the same would be true for xXx. But it's been six years and counting, and the film still isn't officially shooting yet.

Last January, Vin Diesel announced that principle photography on XXX: The Return of Xander Cage would being this month. We haven't heard whether or not that is still the plan, with the production set to take place in the Philippines. D.J. Caruso is directing the sequel.

B. Alan Orange at Movieweb
B. Alan Orange