Good news and bad news is trickling out of Vin Diesels xXx: The Return of Xander Cage today, with the actor himself taking to Facebook to confirm that Ip Man star Donnie Yen has been brought in to replace Jet Li in the action threequel.
It's a change of pace for Diesel's PR parade, who has been releasing a steady stream of set photos since production kicked off. At the time of writing, no reason was given for the departure of the Chinese action expert.
Behind the lens for The Return of Xander Cage is D.J. Caruso (I am Number Four), who is pictured above opposite Diesel and newcomer Donnie Yen. Much like Li's exit, there's no official announcement detailing Yen's role in the film, though a brief synopsis gives us an indication of what to expect in Caruso's actioner.
Donning the fur coat and cocksure attitude as Xander Cage, Diesel's sports extremist will be seen "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."
Rounding out the ensemble for xXx 3 are Deepika Padukone, Toni Collette, the returning Samuel L. Jackson, Furious 7 cohort Tony Jaa and Irish UFC champ Conor McGregor, along with Nina Dobrev, Ruby Rose and Andrey Ivchenko as mysterious villain Raif.
Production continues apace on the set of Vin Diesel and D.J. Caruso's xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, with Paramount setting sights on a release at some point in 2017.