Back in the early 2000s, around the time when Pitch Black, The Fast and the Furious, and xXx all came out one after another, there was a lot of talk about how Vin Diesel was the first big name who was going to usher in a new generation of action stars and action movies. The plan didn’t quite end up panning out that way though. Though Pitch Black managed to spawn one sequel, and the Fast and Furious franchise kept limping along with diminishing returns, the action genre all but died in the 2000s, and before you knew it guys who were supposed to be the next generation of action stars like Diesel and Dwayne Johnson started making emasculating family comedies like The Pacifier. These were dark times for fans of blood and bullets.
Things have seemed to change ever since Diesel and Johnson came face to face in Fast Five and made that movie a runaway hit though. With all of the action projects and sequels to earlier works Diesel now has on his plate, it almost feels like that prophesy of a new generation of action heroes is finally coming true, albeit a decade later than anyone anticipated. Well, the true test as to whether or not the market is once again friendly to action fare could be coming soon, because Heat Vision is reporting that Diesel is now looking to launch a brand new franchise—you know, from an original film that isn’t a sequel, remake, or adaptation of anything—and these days getting something like that made practically takes a miracle.
The film he’s setting up to be his next big cash cow is going to be called Soldiers of the Sun, and—like pretty much everything else getting made right now—it’s a story that’s set in a bleak, apocalyptic future. The basic plot rundown is that the film would star Diesel as the leader of a squad of future soldiers who take a little detour during a mission to liberate Mexico from a race of alien invaders in order to go looking for the mythic city of gold. So it’s kind of a cross between Starship Troopers and Three Kings? Sounds interesting.
The film is being written by Grace of Monaco scribe, Arash Amel, it has Diesel on board as a producer, and it’s being seen as an opportunity to build another ensemble cast around Diesel as the centerpiece, much in the same way the Fast and Furious movies have done. So you can probably expect his soldier character to give quite a few inspirational speeches about how family is the most important thing in the world, even after the world as we know it is over. You’ve got to inject some heart in there amongst all your giant laser guns and alien blood splatter, after all.
Correction: In an earlier version of this post, we claimed that Diesel was in The Toothfairy, but that was Dwayne Johnson in tights. Our mistake.