Next week, audiences will see the film that is essentially marking the end of an era. Set to be Hugh Jackman’s last film in the X-Men franchise, Logan, is selling itself as the R-rated Wolverine standalone film that fans of the character have been waiting for. Taking place in the year 2029, it catches up with Logan, Professor X, and Caliban (Stephen Merchant) as some of the last mutants still alive on the planet, though they’re old and slowly dying, thanks to the immense magnitude of their powers.
All hope seems to be lost, until the trio are brought back into the fight again when a young girl possessing mutant abilities almost exactly like Logan’s is brought to them, asking for help and on the run from an organization that wants to kill her and all remaining mutants. That girl’s name is Laura Kinney, aka X-23 (Dafne Keen), and the film hasn’t even come out stateside yet, but she already promises to be a scene-stealer unlike any other. A character, in fact, that many fans assume may take over in her own franchise once Hugh Jackman’s comes to an end.
It looks like Logan Facebook Live Q&A‘s writer and director, James Mangold, seems to share a similar desire. The director addressed the possibility of an X-23 return sometime down the line during a recent interview for the film, saying that he’d be “shocked” if 20th Century Fox chose not to revisit the character onscreen in some form or another:
“Expect is a big word. I think Dafne is a remarkable actress and I think she does an incredible job with this role. Personally, I would be shocked if we don’t look into trying to develop that character further.”
Based on the early reviews and reactions to Logan, it’s looking more and more like it’s going to be the film that most fans have been hoping it would be. Not only does that mean it’ll be a perfect farewell for Jackman as Wolverine, but a standalone film for the character that honors and strengthens the impact that he’s made on the comic book movies as a whole. That also includes the film’s version of X-23, a character who does actually take over for Wolverine after he dies at one point in the comics, and who has quickly become a fan favorite.
Now, whether or not Keen is actually brought back to play the character again, is an entirely different story. Most of the complications that might arise from bringing her back is that she’s only a kid when Logan takes place, which is years past any of the current or already announced X-Men films. The X-Men franchise certainly is no stranger to using time travel to clear up some of those inconsistencies and issues, of course, but with the special case of Logan, it may prove to be a bit more tricky.
That is unless Fox was willing to make an X-23 film where it really was just Keen as the character, with very little other recognizable mutants in sight. At this point, it’s hard to really say what X-23’s future in the X-Men cinematic universe is. There’s clearly a fan demand for her to be a big player moving forward already, and that desire will likely only strengthen once the film comes out and audiences actually get to see what Keen has done with the role.