Vin Diesel is ready to step back into the shoes of Xander Cage, the ex-extreme sports athlete, TV host and criminal, in xXx: The Return of Xander Cage. The NSA agent, as always, needs a handler, though, and now we have some good news about who that handler will be.

The news broke via a post on Vin Diesel’s Facebook page that Samuel L. Jackson will again be acting as Xander’s NSA boss, Augustus Gibbons.

Xander was first recruited by Gibbons after he became known for his televised anti-government stance and Xander is captured by the FBI for stealing and then destroying a senator’s car. Gibbons puts Xander through two tests, and then offers to wipe his criminal record if he helps the NSA out.

Fun, action-heavy, popcorn movies like xXx frequently need a grounding force to make them feel like real life is taking place around the outrageous stunts and explosions, and any movie would be better by having Samuel L. Jackson as that foundation. The xXx world can make good use of a tough, no-nonsense leader who’s good at giving orders and scoping out the big plan.

Samuel L. Jackson has built a mighty strong career playing a wide variety of tough talking characters. He specializes in intelligent, authoritative, rebellious men who have a great capacity for violence. His Augustus Gibbons will surely continue to be the voice of strength and reason for Xander, but we’ll all know that he can bust some heads if it’s absolutely necessary for him to get his hands dirty by stepping outside the bounds of cool civility.

The strength of personality that resonates through all of Samuel L. Jackson’s work is undeniable. While he has always done a stellar job of transforming himself for his roles, there is always a depth of worldliness that comes through. Jackson has played a drug addict (Jungle Fever, 1991), a badass gangster (Pulp Fiction, 1994), a would-be supervillain (Unbreakable, 2000), a righteous Jedi (Star Wars Episode II – Attack of the Clones, 2002), and, most notably, the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. in almost every Marvel movie ever.

So, the only question now is how much screen time Augustus Gibbons will get in xXx: The Return of Xander Cage. Since his role as the practically all-knowing Nick Fury has put Samuel L. Jackson in the minds of many more movie goers in the past few years, it would probably be a good idea to make him a big part of the movie. Especially since Vin Diesel’s last run at Xander was over a decade ago, and his only solid hits recently have been of the Fast & Furious nature.

Well, Vin Diesel is clearly happy about having Samuel L. Jackson back on board for another Xander Cage adventure. And, I have to say, we will be, too.

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