Photo collage by Nick Wanserski

In what we hope sparks a trend in which roles in Vin Diesel movies are handed out as consolation prizes to anyone with dashed dreams, Miss Universe runner-up Ariadna Gutiérrez has been crowned Vin Diesel’s love interest in xXx: The Return Of Xander Cage. According to Variety (and not one of Diesel’s social media accounts), Gutiérrez will make her feature film debut in the third installment of the franchise that’s so extreme, Diesel had to take a 15-year hiatus in between appearances. Ice Cube filled in for him in 2005’s xXx: State Of The Union, but the consistent and thorough thrashing that the role involved sent him back to family comedies.

Samuel L. Jackson, Toni Collette, Tony Jaa, Ruby Rose, Donnie Yen have jumped, kicked, and ollied their way onto the cast in roles that vary from flinty government agents to high-flying adversaries. In this latest chapter, Diesel’s Xander Cage will come “out of self-imposed exile to recover a sinister and seemingly unstoppable weapon known as Pandora’s Box.” That synopsis should leave plenty of room for Xander to continue to make jokes about the things he’s going to do for his country, which include checking out a box belonging to Pandora, which we hope isn’t the name of Gutiérrez’s character.


Speaking of which, not much is known about Gutiérrez’s role other than that, as the object of Xander’s affection, she will probably be wooed with cans of Four Loko and tattoos made up of misspelled words in a foreign language. As we noted above, Diesel has been surprising silent about the addition of Gutiérrez; he’s heretofore been anxious to trumpet any and all news about the film’s production. He recently shared a few set photos with his leather-clad co-lead Deepika Padukone, but has yet to post anything about the beauty queen joining the film. For Gutiérrez’s sake, this better not be a repeat of the Miss Universe snafu that brought her to international attention.