The early 2000s represented an interesting era in the world of cinema. Franchises like Fast & Furious were satisfying audience's desire to see fast paced, thrilling action on the silver screen, but major reboots such as Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins and Martin Campbell's Casino Royale hadn't brought the action genre back down to a realistic level. These factors inevitably coalesced in 2003 when director Rob Cohen brought audiences one of the most unique on screen secret agents in recent memory: extreme sports icon turned government operative Xander Cage a.k.a xXx. Although the xXx franchise has remained on ice for over a decade, we know that Vin Diesel will once again don his tattoos in 2017 for xXx 3, officially titled xXx: The Return of Xander Cage.

xXx: The Return of Xander Cage has been rumored for the better part of the last decade, but the project only recently got off the ground and began its long awaited production. Under the direction of D.J. Caruso, The Return of Xander Cage will seemingly dust off the old "Bond Killer" and repackage Xander Cage's rough around the edges attitude for a new generation of fans. Although we haven't seen much of the upcoming spy sequel, we here at CinemaBlend have compiled quite a bit of behind the scenes information about the project. With that in mind, let's get started:

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What Is The xXx 3 Rating?

xXx: The Return of Xander Cage has yet to receive a classification from the Motion Picture Association of America, but looking at the history of the franchise we can likely assume that it will receive a PG-13 rating. The xXx series has developed a reputation for not skimping on dangerous stunts blended with violent action, but it also has never really shied away from sexual situations, portrayal of drugs and alcohol, foul language, or any other thematic elements. While this is a series about criminals who become secret agents, the studio is still interested in getting as many people into the theater as possible, and that includes any action-minded young teens.

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What Is The xXx 3 Release Date?

As incredible as it is to consider, xXx: The Return of Xander cage will hit theaters a full 15 years after the titular extreme athlete turned super spy graced our screens, and 12 years after we last saw anything from the series. As of now, the film is slated to hit theaters on January 20, 2017, a little under a year from now. Although a January release date typically doesn't bode well for a movie, it's worth remembering that two of the best action films in recent memory -- Kingsman: The Secret Service and Deadpool -- both hit theaters in February of their respective years. We generally regard summer as the time when major blockbusters get released, but clearly a solid action thriller can still perform well during winter.

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What Is xXx 3 About?

Previously, all we knew about the actual plot of the upcoming xXx: The Return of Xander Cage was what we had been able to glean from the official film synopsis on IMDB. With the release of two trailers now, though, we know that the titular hero will come out of his self-imposed retirement in order to deal with an equally extreme alpha male super spy as they both race to get their hands on a weapon called Pandora's Box. During the movie, Cage will realize that there's a massive conspiracy at the top levels of several international governments working against him and his team. This seems to indicate that while the film will most certainly return the series to its roots by centering on the extreme athlete turned government operative, it also won't ignore the events of xXx: State of the Union, which hit theaters without Vin Diesel in 2005.

When Diesel opted not to reprise his role as Xander Cage, the filmmakers brought in Ice Cube as agent Darius Stone to replace him. The Return of Xander Cage will, evidently, give the xXx division of the NSA a new, deadly mission, but take time to retcon the death of Cage in the sequel to be a fake-out. Unconfirmed rumors have swirled pointing to the possibility of Ice Cube's Darius Stone making an appearance at some point. Although Ice Cube seems to have shot those rumors down, it would make sense considering the ensemble oriented nature of the upcoming sequel's cast.

What Have We Seen From xXx 3?

There have been two trailers released for xXx: The Return of Xander Cage so far, and you can watch the most recent one above. In it, Xander Cage solidifies his commitment to "the good, the extreme and the completely insane" by doing things like skiing off of towers into snow-less jungles and skateboarding off the side of a moving bus, so you know we'll be in for another wild ride with this movie.

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