Don’t expect Dafne Keene’s Laura, also known as X-23, to pop up in any of the upcoming X-Men films. That is according to the famed film producer Hutch Parker, when asked about what is next for the standout star after she successfully debuted the character.
As the X-Men film franchise fans bid Hugh Jackman (Wolverine) and Sir Patrick Stewart (Professor Charles Xavier) goodbye in March’s Logan, they also said hello to the newly-introduced mutant who could potentially carry a movie franchise on her back. James Mangold’s Logan only scratches the surface of Laura’s story – and with her next adventure eagerly anticipated by a lot of people, Fox is already setting Laura up in a way that could easily make her the next face of the Fox/Marvel Universe (and not just an addition to the existing roster of actors in the X-Men series).
In an interview with IGN, Parker reveals that the creative players behind the X-Men franchise are trying to come up with a story arc that could be the backbone of the potential X-23 film(s). And while at this point, they are still unsure which narrative from the character’s long comic book history it will be, he shares that it is unlikely that they will try to integrate her in other existing Fox Marvel properties – including the upcoming New Mutants:
“Yeah, I mean, look — I don’t know definitively, but in terms of the stuff we’ve been talking about, it’s not sort of slipping her into the background of another movie. It’s looking at that character, which is a great character and has a pretty interesting run within the comics, to find a story that we think she could carry or certainly be kind of majorly significant within. That’s the only kind of thing that Jim as a storyteller, a filmmaker… that’s the way his sort of process works. And the way his mind works in terms of what he would aspire to. Which isn’t to say that the studio couldn’t have a conversation about something else, but the one that we’ve been kind of discussing loosely and kicking around is more likely to be its own film.”
Logan has ended in a way that opens up a lot of opportunities for folks at Fox to tell X-23’s story. It also helps that Keen, with her astounding performance, has easily captured the attention of fans making it easier for the movie studios to invest and greenlight a solo film. There are just about a lot of ways that an X-23 film can progress – one of the most organic ones could revolve around her, together with the other surviving mutants, as they travel across the Canadian border.
Truthfully, while the X-Men franchise has built a following over the years that somehow increases its new projects’ chances of success at the box office, it would be a missed opportunity for Fox not to branch out on other properties to keep their own cinematic universe alive and relevant. Deadpool is a great example of this. Arguably the sleeper hit of 2016, the Ryan Reynolds passion project has changed the landscape of the superhero/comic book genre films and gave Fox a new franchise to perpetuate in the next few years.
Shall the new X-23-centric franchise eventually come to fruition though, the other question is whether or not will continue to preserve Logan‘s dettached mentality from the rest of the X-Men movies. Given the differences in timeline between an X-23 movie and other upcoming X-Men films (including, next year’s Deadpool 2 and X-Men: Dark Phoenix), that seems likely – and for the best, at that.