It's been more than a year since we've heard anything about XXX: The Return of Xander Cage. Vin Diesel confirmed his return to the franchise way back in July of 2014. But since then, he's been busy making sure Furious 7 was one of this year's biggest hits. And then he also has to make sure people are aware of, and go see, The Last Witch Hunter this fall. The actor finally gave an update on the impending xXx sequel. His latest Instagram post has some surprising and very welcome news.

"While I was filming XXX, guys on set called me Air Diesel... The time to return has come. Filming starts December in the Philippines."

Yup, that's right! Even though Sony Pictures has not confirm it's even happening, Vin Diesel seems to think his long awaited return as Xander Cage is shooting before the end of this year. So, it sounds like production starts on the action sequel before Fast & Furious 8, which already has a set release date of April 2017. Though, at this point, absolutely nothing else about the movie has been confirmed. Vin Diesel seems like a reliable source, but sometimes, even the actors get it wrong. Perhaps he's being over enthusiastic. It's happened before.

Vin Diesel is slowly but surly becoming the king of franchises. Not only does he have another xXx and Fast & Furious lined-up, he has already announced the sequel The Last Witch Hunter 2 for 2018. And he's said in the past that Universal Pictures is very serious about making Riddick 4. There is no question that the actor is one of the biggest action stars on the planet. But we don't have to worry about where he'll go next. He also has another franchise in the planning stages with the tv-to-movie adaptation of Kojak, which has been in the works, perhaps, longer than XXX 3.

XXX: The Return of Xander Cage has been rumored to be in development for years. Vin Diesel has only ever appeared in 2002's xXx, with Ice Cube taking over the franchise in XXX: State of the Union. There was a short film released around the time of XXX: State of the Union that actually showed the death of Xander Cage, but apparently the team behind the movie has found a way to work around that. Back in 2014, Vin Diesel announced that the new script was nearly completed. John D. Brancato and Michael Ferris are behind the screenplay.

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There are no plot details at this time, and it's unclear if anyone else from the first two movies will return. There were murmurs that Ice Cube's Lt. Darius Stone might team-up with Vin Diesel's Xander Cage. And original co-star Asia Argento would be a welcome addition, but no one has mentioned either possible scenario in years. More about the film probably won't be known until Sony actually admits that the project has a green light. There are many fans anxiously awaiting the return of Xander Cage in xXx. But Hollywood is still in the midst of its 90s nostalgia phase. Will XXX: The Return of Xander Cage kick off a hunger for all things 2000s? Perhaps.

B. Alan Orange at Movieweb
B. Alan Orange