robcohen

I know this may sadden millions of XXX fans around the world, but I’ve got bad news to report. Rob Cohen, the man who directed the 2002 hit starring Vin Diesel will not be returning for the third film. In an attempt to forget the abomination that was XXX: State of the Union Sony plans on producing a second sequel to the original entitled, XXX: The Return of Xander Cage. Yep, Diesel’s ready to return, but Cohen has opted to back out in favor of Medieval, a period piece for New Regency.

According to Variety, Cohen signed on to direct the film, which originally had McG attached. The spec script for Medieval, which was written by Alex Litvak and Michael Finch was bought by New Regency in an  $800,000 against $1.6 million deal. Even though McG won’t be directing due to his busy schedule, he’ll remain on board as a producer for the film.

Medieval is described as  “The Magnificent Seven in the Middle Ages,” but over at /Film they give a little more insight into the film’s story.

“a monk, a knight, a samurai, a zulu, an Arab, a gypsy and a viking” in a jail cell together awaiting execution the next morning. A sleazy lawyer arrives and offers them a solution — If the seven of them can infiltrate the King’s castle and steal the crown, they will be set free.

I never thought I’d say this, but it sounds kind of interesting. The Magnificent Seven is one of my favorite movies (I have the theme song on my mp3 player), and I love old school capers. I’m a bit nervous about Cohen taking this on, since his most recent projects have been less than reputable, i.e. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, and Stealth. But he also did the original The Fast and the Furious, so he has had his share of hits and misses.

Cohen actually spoke about his decision to abandon the third XXX, and how he feels about moving on.

“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.”

This reminds me, why is Vin Diesel revisiting every franchise film he starred in during the earlier part of this decade? Is this the only way he can survive as an actor now? Are they seriously going to give the film the subtitle, “The Return of Xander Cage?” I guess if Fast & Furious can do it, anyone can.

What do you think about Rob Cohen directing Medieval? Should they continue the XXX series without him?