xXx has taken an unlikely path towards franchisedom. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that the franchise ended up in a radically different location than planned.
The series started in a downswing period for the James Bond franchise, and it seemed like someone wondered, “What if we made an American James Bond and combined him with the X-Games?” and then boom: new franchise.
They even found the perfect lead: Vin Diesel, fresh off the first Fast and Furious film. The only problem was, much like the sequel to Fast and Furious, Diesel refused to make it over script issues that they would not change on his behalf. Again like the Fast franchise, the studio eventually came back to Diesel when they knew it was better off with him and gave him much power over what happens on screen.
As a result, we have an endlessly uneven but sincerely fascinating in-progress franchise centered around one of the handful of new Hollywood stars from the 21st century.