‘xXx: The Return of Xander Cage’ Adds Martial Arts Star Donnie Yen

     February 16, 2016

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Vin Diesel has parlayed the good graces he earned in shepherding the Fast and Furious franchise into a billion dollar venture by doubling down. He first did this with Riddick, returning to his long-dormant passion project in 2013 and infusing it with an R rating. Now, he is seemingly doing it again with xXx: The Return of Xander Cage. “Seemingly” because not only does there not appear to be much demand for a sequel in the first place, but also because they could very easily have just ditched Xander Cage and had a completely different role and world for Diesel to work with. So given the rather surprising return, it’s safe to assume Diesel enjoyed the world of the first film.

Now, it has been announced that martial arts actor Donnie Yen will also be joining this world. Yen is set to play Xiang, Xander Cage’s enemy referred to as “an alpha-warrior.” Yen’s credits include Ip Man, Shanghai Knights, Hero, and the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

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Image via Mandarin Films


While not uncommon, it is interesting to note that Yen’s addition comes with filming already having begun. Perhaps they were just finalizing negotiations, waiting on schedules, or are indeed making changes after beginning production. Yen’s addition certainly elevates any sense of action beyond simply explosions.

Yen joins a cast that already includes Samuel L. Jackson, reprising his role as Agent Augustus Eugene Gibbons, Bollywood star Deepika Padukone (Chennai Express) as a huntress who has a history with Cage, Nina Dobrev (Vampire Diaries) as a techie, and Ruby Rose (Orange Is the New Black) as a sniper.

Here is the official synopsis for the film:

The third explosive chapter of the blockbuster franchise that redefined the spy thriller finds extreme athlete turned government operative Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) coming out of self-imposed exile and on a collision course with deadly alpha warrior Xiang and his team in a race to recover a sinister and seemingly unstoppable weapon known as Pandora’s Box. Recruiting an all-new group of thrill-seeking cohorts, Xander finds himself enmeshed in a deadly conspiracy that points to collusion at the highest levels of world governments. Packed with the series’ signature deadpan wit and bad-ass attitude, “xXx: THE RETURN OF XANDER CAGE will raise the bar on extreme action with some of the most mind-blowing stunts to ever be caught on film.


And be sure to check out our recent coverage of xXx: The Return of Xander Cage:

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Image via Vin Diesel

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Image via Vin Diesel


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