Logan, the last Wolverine outing to feature Hugh Jackman (see our review here) also marks the first outing for Laura Kinney, a.k.a. X-23, played by Dafne Keen. Fans have been excited to see how she'd fit into the cinematic X-Men universe, and on March 3, 2017, we'll finally be able to see her and Logan snikt-ing out their claws together.
But just because Logan is Jackman's final appearance, that doesn't mean we'll have seen the last of Keen. In fact, director James Mangold is now teasing a follow-up.
Specifically, Mangold told We Got This Covered:
“I think Dafne is incredible in the film and I would love to see another film about that character and that’s certainly something I’d be involved in. For me that was one of the big additions I brought to the table, this decision to try to make the film about family and to try to insert Laura..."
Here's why that's such an awesome idea, and — if she, in fact, becomes the new Wolverine — the perfect way to continue the X-movies.
It's Time To Pass On The Mantle
Jackman is too iconic to replace as Logan, but the X-Men movies need a Wolverine — and X-23 threads that needle perfectly.
Jackman has, of course, been playing the iconic rebel of the X-Men since 1999. At 31, Jackman was young enough to portray the physicality and easy athleticism of the character without much incident. Now 48, it will become increasingly difficult for the Australian hunk to portray an ageless mutant. That, unfortunately, is one of the problems with our very human selves; we age, and sometimes, it just isn't easy to hide.
To be clear, it's not as though Jackman seems to struggle with maintaining Wolverine's muscular stature. Audiences everywhere have seen Jackman in varying degrees of shirtlessness over the years, and the verdict appears to be that he's as buff as he ever was. But Jackman's portrayal of Wolverine is not what's at issue.
Anyone doing anything for 17 years is going to struggle at times to breathe new life into something. Jackman himself has said that he's not sure how many more egg white omelettes he can eat, and while that statement might be somewhat in jest, there's only so long you can do any one thing before you somehow know it's time to move on. If the man who's played the character for 17 years is saying it's time to move on, it is definitely time to move on.
Why Not A Woman To Be The Face Of The Franchise?
X-23 has been a part of the X-Men comic book lore for some time. Effectively, her "birth" came about because she was the 23rd attempt at making a clone from Wolverine's DNA, and was successful. She became the new Wolverine in 2015 after finally making her way to the X-Men and ultimately joining X-Force.
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She is certainly one of the more dangerous members of the mutant squad of crime fighters, having been deliberately trained as an assassin and having ingrained in her biology an inherent tracking ability. Where Wolverine began by learning to fight for his own survival and finally arriving at a place where he was able to trust and work with others, X-23 does not initially have those traits.
She has the same genetic skills and abilities that Wolverine does, but with a more cutthroat approach to the world, she could definitely be seen as a very badass version of one of our favorite X-Men.
There are also so few female superheroes who are prominently featured in a lead film role. There has been, for instance, a long-held desire to see Black Widow to have her own movie. Storm has not really ever had some sort of leadership role in the movies — as she does in the comics — and has clearly been an engaged part of the team as a whole.
Audiences have not yet seen women in a prominent role, leading the X-Men, although X-Men: Apocalypse awkwardly tried to introduce this dynamic at the end with Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique. With X-23, female fans of the X-Men can then look forward to further live action adventures featuring a new incarnation of the hero.
We'll Never Forget Hugh Jackman, But X-23 As Wolvie Will Bring In A New Generation Of Fans
Much as so many of us love Wolverine, sometimes it's refreshing to both a story and a character as a whole to see what happens when one hero passes the baton to someone else. And Keen is receiving absolutely glowing reviews for her performance.
Yes, it would be a very different dynamic — Logan was a mentor to the other X-Men, whereas X-23 would be a student. However, the X-Men producers should really give some consideration to letting Mangold continue Laura's story and bringing her to the main films as the new Wolverine.
Do you think X-23 will claim the mantle of Wolverine in the X-films? If so, how do you think she'd get back in time to meet James McAvoy's team? Tell us in the comments below?