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Vin Diesel in xXx: Return of Xander Cage

After a long hiatus, Vin Diesel brought back the xXx film franchise in 2017 with xXx: Return of Xander Cage. While it had been over a decade since Diesel had played the role, the movie did reasonably well at the box office, at least internationally. However, the production wasn't without its hurdles, including a lawsuit filed by a one of the producers of the original xXx, and while the suit appeared to be gone by May of 2017, an appeals court just brought it back to life.

The suit was filed by George Zakk in May of 2016 against both Vin Diesel specifically as well as Revolution Studios, who previously owned the rights to the xXx franchise. Zakk claimed that as a producer of the original xXx film he was entitled to both credit as well as a share of the profits in any sequels that would come after.

In May of 2017, a judge dismissed Zakk's lawsuit, on the grounds that Zakk apparently did not have any of these agreements in writing, which the statute of frauds would require since so much time would elapse between any oral agreement and the execution of said agreement. The judge also found that Zakk first claimed only a single oral agreement, before amending the complaint to include others, which was being referred to as a "sham pleading."

George Zakk appealed that judge's ruling and, according to THR, this week a California Appeals court sided with Zakk. The appeals court found that while Zakk's three different complaints, amended at various times, were unclear, they agreed that there were actually multiple oral agreements that had been put in place over time. In addition, the statute of frauds did not apply because Zakk alleges that he performed all duties he was required to perform under the agreement.

Other aspects of George Zakk's original lawsuit remain closed following this new ruling, but this decision is enough to bring all the parties back to court to deal with the resurrected issues. Considering that Vin Diesel was taking meetings about a fourth xXx movie has recently as a couple months ago, plans to continue the franchise are obviously still moving forward. It's too early to tell if this lawsuit could put the new movie on hold while issues are resolved.

Zakk's original lawsuit claimed that he was owned upwards of $250,000 for the xXx sequel, but one assumes Zakk will also want to see a share of the upcoming movie as well if the project moves forward.

Considering that it took almost two years for the court to rule on this appeal, this suit certainly isn't on the fast track. A fourth xXx movie could be out in theaters before we get another ruling. The only winner in that situation might be Revolution Studios. They sold the rights to the xXx franchise to The H Collective, Vin Diesel, and Diesel's production label One Race Films after the third film, so they won't be on the hook for any future films.

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