Vin Diesel's fourth xXx franchise ropes in Asian actor Jay Chou

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Musician and actor Jay Chou is joining Hollywood star Vin Diesel in the fourth instalment of the xXx franchise. D.J. Caruso is directing the movie, reports variety.com.

"I've met DJ a number of times over the past few months and it's very clear how talented he is as a director. I am looking forward to working with him and Vin in bringing this film to global audiences. This is an incredibly exciting film which I'm beyond happy to join," Chou said while talking about the director of the movie.

Diesel is reprising his role as Xander Cage, an extreme sports enthusiast and reluctant spy for the National Security Agency. Joe Roth and Jeff Kirschenbaum will produce with Diesel, Samantha Vincent for One Race Films, and the H Collective. Chinese actress Zoe Zhang, a frequent collaborator with Jackie Chan, also joined the cast.

The H Collective said on Tuesday that it will finance xXx 4 alongside several investment partners, including Sparkle Roll Media, iQiyi Pictures, Dadi Huarui, Star League Media, and Fulcrum Management Co. Production is slated to begin in 2019.

The xXx franchise, which includes 2002's xXx, 2005's xXx: State of the Union and 2017's xXx: Return of Xander Cage has collectively grossed nearly $1 billion at the worldwide box office.

Chou, who hails from Taiwan, has won four World Music Awards and appeared on soundtracks for films that include The Green Hornet, Now You See Me 2 and Kung Fu Panda 3.

He's known as the King of Mandopop and has been a mentor for the past two seasons of The Voice in China.

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