Ice Cube Signs On To Make ‘XXX’ Movie

Vin Diesel won't co-star in film but will produce.

We’ve seen him battle “the Man,” a giant snake and a thieving ghetto Santa Claus, but are people ready to see Ice Cube as an “extreme” action hero?

Well, Vin Diesel and Revolution Studios seem to think so. No sooner than you can say “2 Fast 2 Furious,” Diesel and director Rob Cohen have handed over another franchise to a new team of players: Cube and “Die Another Day” director Lee Tamahori.

But unlike the “Fast and the Furious” series, Diesel and Cohen aren’t abandoning the series entirely. They’ll serve as producers when Cube steps into the role of another criminal who’s offered a chance to stay out of the pen by working for the government.

As work finishes up on the first installment of “The Chronicles of Riddick” (see “Vin Diesel’s Riddick ‘Still A Killer’ In ‘Pitch Black’ Sequels” ), the first of three proposed sequels to Diesel’s “Pitch Black,” the actor is eager to move on his long-discussed “Hannibal” project, according to the Hollywood trade paper Variety, rather than reprise yet another character right away.

As for Cube, the man who got his start rapping in N.W.A has become increasingly open-minded when it comes to choosing his acting roles, with a slew of pictures on the way in which he plays everything from a family man driving across the country with his kids (“Are We There Yet?”) to a junior high school custodian who becomes the basketball team’s coach (see “Ice Cube Puts Off Recording With Dre To Focus On Harassing Kids” ).

With so many projects on his plate, “XXX2″ may prove difficult for Cube to squeeze into his schedule, but Revolution Studios is reportedly hoping to get moving sooner rather than later, eyeing a 2005 release. He’s already finished work on “Barbershop 2″ — with the long-completed “Torque” ready to hit theaters in January (see “Ice Cube Switching From Barber To Biker For Next Flick” ) — but he still has to make “Are We There Yet?” before he can get down to any spy business.

“XXX2″ will reportedly skip the globetrotting of the first flick, instead taking place primarily in the Washington, D.C., area.