From a whisper to a roar, the viral marketing behind the third Wolverine film was turned up to 11 after the teaser trailer and then trailer for Logan were released earlier this week. The first theatrical trailer introduced (or authenticated) a number of theories about the film, including the presence of Donald Pierce and the Reavers, the diminished status of mutantkind in the near future, and the reason behind Logan and Charles Xavier’s return to action – a young woman with special powers.
Rumors about Dafne Keen’s young character circled the film since early on, and the first Logan poster teased the presence of a young girl hand-in-hand with Wolverine. The trailer, as well as later rumors, further hinted at Kinney’s presence in the film – something now all but officially confirmed.
Today (October 23rd), at 10:23 Eastern Time, the wponx Instagram account released an image of actress Dafne Keen simply captioned “Laura.” Given that Laura Kinney was the given name of the X-Men character and Wolverine clone nicknamed X-23, the choice to release the photo at 23 minutes past the hour certainly does seem more than coincidental. Her presence as an inciting character also make sense in the film, especially after Bryan Singer claimed that Mister Sinister would play a role (even if not a direct one) in Logan, even though director James Mangold sidestepped the rumors.
Originally developed for the animated show X-Men: Evolution, Laura/X-23 is a clone made from Wolverine’s DNA. Since her introduction, she’s become a popular character in the Marvel Universe, even taking up the Wolverine mantle after his death. Her character has come into its own right since those days, growing out of her genetic near-duplicate's shadow and handily filling his shoes as All-New Wolverine.
Although technically, Laura Kinney was created by a Weapon X offshoot The Facility, not Sinister's Essex Corporation, fans have speculated for years that Sinister had something to do with the creation of X-23, or even was Facility director Martin Sutter or his underling Zander Rice in disguise. Since many comic book films often take bits and pieces from the comic lore and blend them into the film (or mess them up), Mangold and writer David James Kelly could be playing fast and loose not just with the Old Man Logan source material, but also with Kinney's origins.
Of course, studios often use misdirection (or outright denial – see J.J. Abrams and Star Trek Into Darkness) in order to keep script details under wraps, so don't take anything for granted just yet. It's possible that the attack could come from another clawed mutant survivor like Lady Deathstrike (often a Reaver) or Logan's evil son Daken. However, due to the literal timing of the "Laura" reveal, it certainly looks as though the clawed mutant we see attacking Logan in the trailer is none other than the little girl he's charged with protecting.
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