Hugh Jackman gave his best performance yet for Wolverine’s send off in Logan, but fans have been equally enthralled by Dafne Keen’s portrayal of the young Laura Kinney, aka X-23. It’s incredible they found the perfect actress for the role, considering all of the necessary requirements: someone that was 10-12 years old, physically capable, Latina, bilingual, and not to mention good at acting. The character was a big hit with fans, so what’s next for the young claw-wielding mutant?
Before Logan‘s release, Mangold had already expressed interest in a spinoff for the character. The Deadpool side of the X-Men universe could be a fitting destination for the character’s appearance in an X-Force movie. Cable, the time-traveler set to appear in Deadpool 2, could also provide an opportunity to introduce X-23 at virtually any age.
Age is definitely an important factor, considering a preteen mutant could be a hard sell to studios and fans as a leading character. But, as we mentioned with the casting of Keen, there are several other factor to be considered. With that in mind, here are 15 Actresses Who Could Play Older Laura Kinney In A Logan Spinoff.
15. Anya Taylor-Joy
20-year-old Anya Taylor-Joy has burst onto the scene in the past couple of years, starring in the acclaimed 2015 horrror film The Witch, and more recently the hugely popular M. Night Shyamalan thriller Split. She also played the titular role in the sci-fi thriller Morgan in 2016. She clearly has an affinity for films with darker tones, so it would only seem fitting if she took an interest in portraying a character with such as dark a backstory as Laura Kinney.
Joy’s mother is Spanish-English and her father is Scottish-Argentinean, which provides her the ability to speak both English and Spanish fluently. And like Laura, Joy had a relatively difficult childhood and was constantly living back-and-forth between Argentina and England. According to the young actress, though, she doesn’t have to rely on personal experiences for inspiration. She’s gone on record saying that she’s an empath, meaning she can walk in a room and take on the energy of anyone or anything around her. That definitely seems like something that would come in handy when trying to portray a layered character like Laura.
14. Becky G
Rebecca Marie Gomez, better known as Becky G, is a 20-year-old Mexican-American singer who has just transitioned to acting. Her most notable role so far has been on the hit television series Empire, appearing in two episodes and also providing two new songs for the show’s soundtrack. While that’s hardly a resumé worthy of a titular role in an X-Men film, she’ll show her genre chops later this month when she appears as Trini –the yellow ranger – in the new Power Rangers movie.
There are countless singers that have made a successful transition from music to acting – Will Smith, Jared Leto, and Mark Wahlberg, to name a few, so the idea that Becky G could prove to be a credible actress is hardly a farfetched one. It is fair to say, though, that she’ll need to shine in Power Rangers, and probably at least two or three more feature films, before she can justifiably take on the role of Laura Kinney in her own movie.
13. Karla Souza
Born in Mexico City to a Chilean father and Mexican mother, Souza is the first of three actresses on this list that began their acting career in the country where Laura originates from in Logan. She now stars as Laurel on ABC’s legal drama series How to Get Away with Murder, but before that, she starred in Spanish language hits like 2009’s Verano de Amor and 2013’s Instructions Not Included.
The 31-year-old’s role in How to Get Away with Murder has helped broaden the depiction of Latina characters in U.S. television; her character isn’t sexualized, underprivileged, or involved in a drug cartel, like so many Latina characters in Hollywood often are. Laura Kinney is certainly no stereotype when it comes to Hispanic characters, so Souza could really bring the same type of dynamic performance to the big screen as she has on the small screen. Souza does lack experience in genre films, but her track record has shown that she has the ability to learn and adapt to a variety of roles and expectations.
12. Camila Mendes
This young actress currently stars as Veronica on the popular teen drama television series, Riverdale, which is based on characters from Archie Comics. That in mind, what Camilla Mendes can offer to the role of Laura Kinney is her experience portraying a character that originates from a comic book source material. Granted, the characters from Archie comics are hardly super heroes, but she’s shown the ability to adapt a character from a source material in a way that’s innovative yet true to the character at the same time.
Mendes is of Brazilian descent, and is particularly proud of the opportunity she’s been given to portray a Latina character that isn’t based on traditional Hollywood stereotypes. While she is bilingual, she speaks Portuguese rather than Spanish, but the languages have several similarities that would dramatically shorten her learning curve.
The 22-year-old is also at an ideal age to establish a new portrayal of Laura Kinney and be in a position to play the character for many years to come, just as Jackman did with Wolverine. Her physical appearance is also a nice combination of being reminiscent of both the comic book version of Laura as well as Keen in Logan.
11. Lindsey Morgan
Lindsey Morgan has solidified herself as a credible young actress, earning an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series for her role in General Hospital. However, the 27-year-old is more commonly known for her portrayal as Raven, the prodigious mechanical engineer in the CW series The 100.
Similar to Logan, The 100 is set in a bleak, post-apocalyptic future where odds are stacked against those who live on Earth. This similarity would certainly give Morgan a frame of reference to work from when channeling the history of Laura Kinney’s character. Her character is also much younger than Morgan is herself, which proves she can realistically portray a younger character if need be.
Morgan describes her character on The 100 as “a total badass… she’s feisty, she’s sassy, she’s strong”. These are undeniably traits that describe Laura Kinney, as well, which gives Morgan yet another key qualification for portraying the young mutant. To round out her resumé for the role, Morgan is also of Hispanic descent.
10. Sofia Boutella
Sofia Boutella is definitely the oldest candidate on this list, but the rest of her qualifications are too good to overlook. The 34-year-old gained initial popularity as a prominent hip hop and street dancer, which provided her the opportunity to star in 2012’s StreetDance 2. Since then, she’s added to her credibility as an actress by starring in Kingsman: The Secret Service, Star Trek Beyond, and she’s set to appear in the upcoming Tom Cruise blockbuster, The Mummy.
While those films are already extremely relevant to X-23 as far as genre goes, the specific roles Boutella portrayed are even more relevant. In Star Trek Beyond, Boutella played the feisty combatant Jaylah, which required her to undergo two months of intense training with a Japanese staff. In Kingsman, she played Gazelle, who just so happens to share with Laura Kinney the fact that she’s an assassin that uses blades on her limbs as her primary weapon.
9. Rosa Salazar
Consider the fact that at as a teenager, Rosa Salazar was, at one point, homeless. Now, the 31-year-old is making appearances in Hollywood blockbusters like Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials and Insurgent. She’ll also be appearing in the James Cameron produced film Alita: Battle Angel, which comes out next year. The way that this actress’ career has progressed over the last decade, it would appear that the sky is the limit.
Before she ended up homeless, Salazar’s future on-screen energy could be seen in her even as a child. She’s said of herself and her childhood, “I just could not shut up! I was that kid in the family that you put on the table and watch it dance around and you’re like, ‘Oh, look at that hyper kid!” It took a while, but Salazar’s energy eventually got her noticed. It’s this type of energy that would lend itself perfectly to an explosive character like Laura Kinney.
8. Eiza Gonzalez
Eiza Gonzalez is another actress who got her start in Mexico, appearing in shows like Sueña Conmigo and Amores verdaderos. She attended two private bilingual schools in Mexico city, which paved the way for her to eventually make the transition to Hollywood. Now, Gonzalez stars as Santanico Pandemonium in the television show From Dusk Till Dawn, which, if you’re not familiar with the show, was the tantalizing character played by Salma Kayek in the original 1996 movie by the same name. In addition, Gonzalez is set to appear alongside Kevin Spacey and Jamie Foxx in Edgar Wright’s upcoming feature Baby Driver, as a bank robber named Darling.
Now that Gonzalez has established herself as an actress worthy of major Hollywood features, she’s going to be seeking roles that capitalize on her best attributes, including her genre appeal and bilingualism. A character like Laura Kinney is obviously rooted in her independent and fierce nature, and Gonzalez has that in spades. She’s also shown off her fighting chops as the vampire queen in FDTD.
7. Stephanie Sigman
You may recognize Stephanie Sigman as the mysterious Bond girl from the latest James Bond film, Spectre. The first ever Mexican Bond girl was heavily featured in the films introduction, which contained a beautiful portrayal of the country’s Day of the Dead holiday. Sigman is surely familiar with and fond of the holiday, considering she was born in Mexico to a Mexican father and American mother. This means that she’s one half Mexican, as well as a dual English/Spanish speaker, like Laura Kinney.
To get the attention of the producers of a James Bond movie is no easy feat, so you know Sigman has to have more to offer than just her ethnicity and undeniable beauty. Before she shared the screen with Bond, she got her start in Mexico with films like Rio de Oro, and she’s more recently made a splash in American television on FX’s The Bridge and the Netflix series Narcos. She’s also going to be appearing in the upcoming CBS series, S.W.A.T., which should give her some quality first-hand experience and exposure to the action genre.
6. Natalie Martinez
Natalie Martinez is one of the oldest entries on this list at 32 years of age. However, like Sofia Boutella, Martinez also has a great deal of experience playing gritty and tenacious characters – experience that is certainly valuable when it comes to playing an assassin like Laura Kinney. In addition to having appropriate experience, Martinez’s Cuban ancestry background has blessed her with features that make her a believable successor to Dafne Keen’s portrayal.
Going back to her experience with strong female characters, Martinez made her big screen debut back in 2008 when she appeared as Case in the action movie Death Race. Since Death Race, Martinez has gained experience in the sci-fi genre by appearing in the Stephen King series, Under the Dome, and has even starred on the show Kingdom as a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter. All things considered, Martinez has probably one of the most well-rounded resumé’s for taking on the role of an older Laura Kinney.
5. Victoria Moroles
This entry is probably our biggest shot in the dark, but it’s always fun to mix things up with the possibility of being able to say “we called that!” down the line. Without much experience to her name just yet, Victoria Moroles is a relatively unknown actress who, so far, has appeared primarily in the TV shows Liv and Maddie on The Disney Channel, and Hayden on MTV’s Teen Wolf. She is beginning to get noticed, however, as she is set to make her big screen debut this year along Uma Thurman in the film Down a Dark Hall, based on the YA book by Louis Duncan.
Even though Moroles has only appeared in a couple of small-scale television productions, keep in mind she is only 20 years old. There have been several A-list actors that got their start on The Disney Channel, including Shia LaBeouf, Zac Efron, Keri Russell, and Ryan Gosling, most of whom didn’t get their big break until around Moroles’ age.
Moreover, Moroles also has a fitting appearance for a future appearance as an older Laura Kinney, sporting physical features that coincide with those of Dafne Keen, along with the same ethnic background as the on-screen character.
4. Lorenza Izzo
If you recognize this actress, it’s probably because you’re a fan of horror films. The 27-year-old Chilean has made a name for herself in the horror genre since moving to the United States from South America, having appeared in movies like Aftershock, The Green Inferno, and Knock, Knock. In Aftershock and The Green Inferno, Izzo portrayed characters sho were very much the victims of the story. However, in Knock, Knock, she had a chance to go on the offensive, playing a deceptively dangerous and seductive young woman opposite Keanu Reeves.
The common denominator between Izzo’s three biggest movie roles (besides being of the horror variety) is her husband Eli Roth, who starred in Aftershock and directed The Green Inferno and Knock, Knock. While Izzo’s performances have been great, and she’s proven that she can handle the horror side of film, she’ll need to stretch outside of her comfort zone to grab a role like Laura Kinney in the X-Men universe. With two or three more prominent movie roles outside of the horror genre to compliment her blood-and-guts experience and Spanish-speaking background, though, we’re confident that Izzo could shine as an older X-23.
3. Camren Bicondova
The youngest entry on this list at only 17 years old, Camren Bicondova has two major qualifications that would make her an excellent choice for the role of an older Laura Kinney.The first and most obvious is the fact that she’s had huge success with her small screen portrayal as a young Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman, on the TV series, Gotham. Her breakthrough role has given her experience in adapting a comic book character to live-action, and in playing a character with some similar qualities to X-23.
Secondly, Bicondova is a jazz-funk and hip-hop dancer, which means she has a skill set that transfers extremely well when applied to physically dynamic characters like Catwoman and X-23. This is surely one of the primary reasons she grabbed the role on Gotham in the first place, and her skills could lend themselves wonderfully to all sorts of acrobatic and finesse-filled maneuvers that a mutant with adamantium foot-claws might perform.
As for her acting chops, Bicondova has already earned a Saturn Award nomination for “Best Performance by a Younger Actor in a Television Series”, as well as been listed in Variety’s annual Youth Impact Report as an artist who “represents the next wave of Hollywood savvy and talent.” At only 17 years old, and with only one major acting gig under her belt, these impressive accolades are pretty hard to ignore.
2. Seychelle Gabriel
This 25-year-old has been appearing in a variety of television shows and movies over the last decade, and she’s now on the cusp of finding her first breakthrough leading role. In television, she’s been a regular on shows like Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Legend of Korra, and, most notably, the Steven Spielberg produced Falling Skies. On the big screen, she’s played supporting roles in films like Honey 2, The Last Airbender, and The Spirit.
We’ve already discussed two other dancers on this list and how that particular skill set is an amazing asset when it comes to choreographed fighting, so Gabriel’s experience playing a dancer in Honey 2 would certainly pay off in that regard. She’s also gained quality exposure to the action genre thanks to The Last Airbender and The Spirit. We’ll concede that those two films aren’t top-notch, by any means, but Gabriel’s contributions to them can’t be faulted
It doesn’t hurt that Gabriel also has Mexican heritage. So, if you’re keeping count, Gabriel has dance experience, action film experience, the right appearance, and an ideal age. Sounds like a pretty good fit to us!
1. Dafne Keen
Since Keen was clearly fantastic in Logan, why take her out of the limelight so quickly? Nearly everyone else on this list is missing some sort of crucial quality – acting experience, bilingualism, having the right appearance, etc. – so the wisest move may be to simply let Keen age a few years until she’s able to carry a film on her own. After all, we’ve already seen that she can handle the role.
James Mangold said so himself that he was lucky to have found Keen for Logan. She was able to provide every specific quality he was looking for. He was particularly impressed by her physicality. She also held her own acting-wise against A-list actors Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman in her first feature film at only 11 years old.
The only issue with Keen leading an X-23 spinoff film is a concern Mangold has already expressed himself – her age. He’s admitted that he had a hard time selling the character to the studio, due to the savage behavior of a child so young. Mangold also said that he intentionally avoided a teenage actor for Logan. Unfortunately, that would count Keen out for the next several years. But perhaps the studio can be persuaded; Keen is truly one of a kind.
Which actress would you most like to see portray an older Laura Kinney? Tell us in the comments!