Samuel L. Jackson (left) and Vin Diesel in "XXX."

*Sony Pictures has handed off its spy action franchise “XXX” to Paramount, who is said to be in negotiations to finance, produce and release a third film in the series titled “XXX: The Return of Xander Cage,” reports Deadline New York.

John Brancato and Michael Ferris (“Terminator Salvation”) wrote the script which involves Xander Cage, the extreme sports athlete-turned-government operative from the first film, returning to the National Security Agency after an eight-year absence to work on a dangerous assignment only he can pull off.

Diesel is reprising the role of Cage and Samuel L. Jackson will return as his handler Agent Augustus Gibbons. Also returning is the film’s first director Rob Cohen.

Cohen plans to shoot the film with 3D cameras with a targeted release date of 2011 or early 2012.