Vin Diesel
Vin Diesel first portrayed Xander Cage in the 2002 film, xXxJason Merritt/Getty

It has been 13 years since Vin Diesel starred as Xander Cage in action thriller xXx, which to some might seem too long a period to leave between sequels... even Pixar! But alarge time-gap does not seem to faze the Fast & Furious actor, as he confirms he is gearing up to reprise the role once more.

There have been a few rumours that Diesel was planning to return to one of his best-known characters for a while now, but nothing concrete ever emerged. However, last night (23 August), Diesel took to his Instagram account to officially announce the news that he was going to play the role again, subsequently confirming that a sequel was happening. The 48 year old posted an old photograph of himself, suited-and-booted, looking much younger, alongside the caption: "While I was filming XXX, guys on set called me Air Diesel... The time to return has come. Filming starts December in the Philippines. #ILiveForThisS***".

The first movie detailed how Cage, an extreme sports athlete, whogets recruited by the US government to take part in a special mission. This task sees him gathering intelligence on an organisation that they suspect is planning on destroying the world. The follow-up, scheduled for release sometime this year, will carry on from Diesel's story in the first instalment, after Cage was left for dead.

Given his huge success in major Hollywood blockbusters Guardians Of The Galaxy and Furious 7 recently, the latter of which grossed over a billion dollars at the box office, it comes as no shock that Diesel is now able to actively pursue funding on projects that he may have been holding in the planning stages for a while. However, for xXx fans, it might be more of a surprise considering how he did not feature in the 2005 follow-up to his original 2002 movie, xXx2: The Next Level, which instead followed Ice Cube's Darius Stone, a different agent in the xXx program, as the lead.

The sequel, which at the moment is being called The Return Of Xander Cage, will reportedly be written by Terminator Salvation's John D. Brancato and Michael Ferris, but has yet to announce a director despite Diesel suggesting they will be starting filming in just a few months. Diesel will next be seen in fantasy feature The Last Witch Hunter opposite Elijah Wood and Game Of Thrones' Rose Leslie.