Deepika Padukone will play the female lead opposite Vin Diesel in XXX: The Return Of Xander Cage. She joins Ruby Rose, Nina Dobrev and Jet Li in the sequel directed by D.J. Caruso. Samuel L. Jackson is returning to reprise his role.

Joe Roth is producing the movie with his new partner Jeff Kirschenbaum as well as Diesel and his producing partner, Samantha Vincent, who is also his sister.

The original movie starred Diesel as an extreme sports athlete recruited to be a spy and use his unique skill set to stop a global terrorist. The movie grossed US$142mil domestically. A sequel followed in 2005, but it was made without Diesel and underwhelmed at the box office.

Diesel has since warmed to the idea of returning to the franchise with production set to start later in January. Plot details on the movie are unknown.

Padukone will play a a razor-sharp huntress who helps Cage during his latest mission. She can most recently be seen in award-winning and critically acclaimed films Piku and Bajirao Mastani. – Reuters