Excitement continues to build for Logan, the X-Men spinoff that looks set to be unlike any superhero movie we've ever seen before. #Logan is set to be a bloody, brutal Western, pitting Hugh Jackman's Wolverine and Patrick Stewart's Xavier against a mysterious, dangerous conspiracy. But the film is also set to introduce us to a brand new character. Dafne Keen is playing X-23, the female clone of Wolverine!
Director James Mangold's film very much seems like a rallying cry against the typical superhero franchises — right down to its loose sense of continuity — but there's one thing he's apparently up for: a sequel. Speaking to We Got This Covered, Mangold said:
"I would love to see an X-23 film and that is something I would definitely be involved with."
Excitingly, it seems that Fox is increasingly confident about the concept. X-Men producer Simon Kinberg told Latino Review:
“I think it’s a real possibility. Again, the real criteria is always to find a story that can really be unique, distinct, compelling, surprising, bold … all of that. She’s an amazing character, and Dafne does a great job launching the character in the film, so I think there’s a good chance you’ll see something of that kind down the line… at least I hope so.”
In many ways, this seems like a natural evolution of the franchise; but is it a step in the right direction? Here are three reasons why a spin-off should happen.
1. 'Logan' Is A Passing Of The Torch
The sad truth is that Logan is pretty much certain to be #HughJackman's swan song when it comes to the #XMen franchise. He's had an amazing run — he first played Wolverine in 2000's X-Men, 17 years ago! Jackman has stood at the center of the franchise since his debut, as his star power proved to be a major draw for both the tentpole & spin-off movies within the X-Men franchise.
Although Ryan Reynolds has been working hard to persuade Hugh Jackman to stick around, so far there's no evidence he's been successful. That leaves Fox with a massive, Wolverine-sized hole in their franchise — and given how dependent the X-Men franchise has been on Wolverine until now, that's a huge problem for the studio.
It looks as though #DafneKeen's X-23 could be the solution to Fox's problem. Conceptually, X-23 is a very similar character to Wolverine: both are on a quest to recover their humanity, battling against the savagery of their experiences. The trailers have emphasized that similarity, most notably in the haunting Super-Bowl teaser.
Cast your eyes to the comics, and X-23 has already proven she can take over from Wolverine. #Marvel Comics actually killed Wolverine off in 2014's Death of Wolverine miniseries, and in 2015 X-23 stepped into his shoes as the star of All-New Wolverine. She's proving to be a firm fan-favorite.
2. X-23 Is A Popular Character
First reactions to X-23 have consistently praised Dafne Keen's X-23, considering her a highlight of the movie. This comes as no surprise to X-Men fans, as the the character has a rich history, and has already been popular enough to transition from an animated series (where she was introduced) over into the comics.
What's more, since she made that jump, she's literally been in constant print — whether in the pages of her own solo series, as a member of the All-New X-Men, or as part of the cast of Avengers Arena, Marvel Comics has long considered her to be big news.
There's something tremendously powerful about the young mutant's quest for her humanity, and nowhere did that shine brighter than in Marjorie Liu's phenomenal X-23 series, which saw X-23 battle against everything from people traffickers to a demon-possessed Wolverine!
3. X-23 Fits With The 'X-Force' Direction
Perhaps most significantly, though, we know that Fox is trying to add another string to their bow in the build-up to Deadpool. As writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick explain:
"There is a responsibility we have to the X-Force universe, and I do think we will not disappoint the fans going into Deadpool 2 and then setting up X-Force and beyond... [Deadpool 2's] purpose is not to set up X-Force. It will likely set up X-Force, but the drive of the movie won’t be our eyes on Movie 3."
Each of the R-rated X-Men movies will be expected to stand on its own two feet, but Fox will be doing their level best to tie them all together in an X-Force film. With Deadpool 2 introducing Cable and Domino, a lot of the pieces will already be in place; but in order for X-Force to avoid just becoming Deadpool 3, it needs to do more than just bring the band back together again.
It's logical that Fox will want to add Dafne Keen's X-23 into the mix — but, given that X-Force is still a few years away, they have ample time to develop X-23 as the star of her own portion of the X-Men universe. A solo film would be an ideal way to do this, with X-Force then combining two franchises: the Deadpool franchise and the one launched by Logan.
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- James Mangold's Explanation Of How 'Logan' Fits Into The X-Men Timeline Is Damning Indictment Of The MCU & DCEU
- Why 'Logan' Won't Face The End Of The World — And What That Could Teach Other Superhero Films
All in all, an X-23 solo movie seems to make perfect sense. Fox need to ensure that the character continues to be developed in the aftermath of Logan and, with James Mangold's work receiving critical acclaim, they'd be a fool to turn him down on his offer. Personally, this is one sequel I truly hope comes to pass.