‘Logan’ Director James Mangold Working on ‘X-23’ Spinoff

Last year’s Logan was a bittersweet success for writer/director James Mangold. While it was by far the biggest commercial and critical success for the Wolverine franchise, it also marked the final appearance of Hugh Jackman as the adamantium-laced mutant. But on a recent publicity junket to drum up Oscar buzz for the critically acclaimed movie, Mangold revealed he was already working on a spinoff movie featuring Logan’s young protege Laura Kinney, a.k.a “X-23.”

Mangold had been toying with ideas for an X-23 film since the end of filming on Logan, but he said studio resistance to the idea of a Laura-led sequel evaporated this summer for one simple reason:Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman.

“Patty’s success with that film only solidifies more for studios that there’s less to fear with a female protagonist,” Mangold told The Hollywood Reporter. “The more that keeps getting hit home, that ends up giving me more space turning around and going, ‘Well, here we are with a female protagonist. That’s incredible. And what are we going to do with her?’ And that’s where we are with that [the Laura script] right now, dreaming.”

Mangold is working on the script with Thor: Ragnarok screenwriter Craig Kyle, the man who created Laura for the X-Men: Evolution cartoon way back in 2003.

X-Men franchise producer Hutch Parker agreed that there is more story to tell with Laura. “Yes, there are other facets of that character and some others potentially to explore in their own way,” says Parker. “It may not be in the same exact tonality or with the same genre orientations as Logan, but I think part of what has been opened up in this universe to all of us now is, drawing on different genre traditions, there are new pathways to be opened for new characters that populate this universe.”

Dafne Keen and Hugh Jackman at the MTV Movie Awards

While it is unknown if the sequel would pick up where Logan left off, or move forward in time to feature an adult Laura, Daphne Keen, the breakout star who played Laura in the film, is on record as wanting to explore the character more. “She is an emotional bomb. She’s complicated — she tries to be so strong but she feels so kind of vulnerable at the same time. I really love her. I’d love to keep playing her,” she said.

It is also unclear whether Laura would remain “X-23” or become the new “Wolverine” in the proposed sequel, but Logan star Hugh Jackman is ready to pass the torch. The veteran actor recalled that he was not even supposed to play the part of Wolverine. It was awarded to Scottish actor Dougray Scott initially — but fate intervened when shooting on Scott’s film Mission Impossible 2 went long, forcing X-Men producers to give Jackman a shot at the role.

“I met him early on and I said to him, ‘Man, I am sorry.’ And he said, ‘It’s just business, but you have just gotten one of the greatest roles out there, so go crush it,’ ” Jackman said. “I just remember being so impressed by that and his class, and hopefully I am a big enough guy that when someone else takes over, I will do exactly what was done to me…and I feel glad to just be a part of the legacy of that character. I feel great parts — great characters out live the actors that play them. Bond, Superman, Batman…so, there you go.”

So he’s made peace with leaving the role of Wolverine behind. Would he be interested in producing the way he did for Wolverine: Origins?

“No, I won’t be a producer on a Laura sequel,” he says. “But I will be lining up on the Thursday night at 10 p.m. to watch it though.

She is just phenomenal.”

X-23 Is in ‘Wolverine 3’ and Might Be the New Wolverine

Hugh Jackman has made it clear that Wolverine 3 is his last appearance as the world’s most famous mutant, and it looks like the studio might be preparing us for what comes next. A new batch of set photos from the upcoming movie have leaked to the website Just Jared, giving us what may be our our first glimpse at Laura Kinney a.k.a. X-23, Wolverine’s female clone, who has long been rumored to be in the film.

The photos show a young girl, bloodied but apparently fine, accompanying a grizzled Wolverine and meeting with a much older Professor X. This lends some credence to the idea that elements of the Old Man Logan storyline from the comics will be worked into Wolverine 3. And whether that blood is someone else’s or if she just heals really fast, both theories point to a possible X-23 sighting.

Adding fuel to the fire, That Hashtag Show found a casting call from Wolverine 3 studio 20th Century Fox way back in January.


Code Name: Zoe

12-to-15 year-old girl

A pound puppy, raised in captivity in a time of battle, without support systems of a normal childhood. She has no family and until now, has never left the compound in which she was born. She has an authentic intensity – Her expressions & body language speak volumes, without words.

Once released in the outside world, everything is new, every experience and every image a first. This does not mean everything is wonderful or wondrous. Some thing she sees (things we might regard as conventional) may scare her or anger her and things we may find interesting may bore her.

She has not been instructed in many social conventions – she can eat like an animal. She studies and often mimics people’s behavior. She has a high IQ, but is also a temperamental, impulsive and feral creature that can raise genuine mayhem.

She is a girl that has never been kissed. Looking for a real girl – not made up or done up. Also with genuine edge, not made up or put on.

Martial arts or gymnastics experience preferred but not necessary – but actress must be extremely physical and able to improvise scenes without necessarily resorting to speech. Do not play it “cute.”

Compare that description to a description of X-23 from from Wikipedia:

Cloned from a damaged copy of Wolverine’s genome, X-23 was created to be the perfect killing machine. For years, she proved herself a capable assassin working for an organization called the Facility. A series of tragedies eventually led her to Wolverine and the X-Men. She attends school at the X-Mansion, and eventually became a member of X-Force.

All New Wolverine - art by Michael Cho
All New Wolverine – art by Michael Cho

In the comics, x-23 is currently the All-New Wolverine; a title she claimed to honor Logan, the original Wolverine, after he was killed in combat. Knowing that Jackman is not coming back to the role, Wolverine 3 may be the studio’s way of passing the torch in a similar fashion, establishing the new, female Wolverine in the same movie that the original passes away.

And one more tidbit that points us in this direction, director/producer Brian Singer, the architect of the cinematic X-Men universe, revealed back in an interview with Fandango back May that he was interested in bringing the” female Wolverine” to the screen for a planned X-Force movie.

“I have discussed that with the studio. I actually initially pitched the X-Force and the female [Wolverine].”

Add all of this together, and it looks very, very likely that X-23 will make it to the big screen, and that there is a pretty decent chance she will also inherit the title of Wolverine from Jackman’s Logan as he exits the franchise.

We could not be more excited.

Wolverine 3 hits theatres on March 3rd, 2017.