20th Century Fox’s Logan marked the final performances for both Hugh Jackman as Wolverine and Patrick Stewart as Professor X, but it also introduced a new character into this universe, the fan favorite X-23, played by newcomer Dafne Keen. During a Q&A session following a recent screening of the black and white version of Logan, dubbed Logan Noir, director James Mangold said he would be “shocked” if the studio didn’t develop the character further, hinting that she could surface in another X-Men movie down the road. However, producer Hutch Parker thinks that isn’t exactly the case, hinting that it’s more likely she will get her own movie, rather than appear in a different X-Men movie. Here’s what he had to say.
“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 (James Mangold) 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 was set farther into the future than any other X-Men movie before it, taking place in the year 2029, five years after the prologue of X-Men: Days of Future Past. Since Laura Kinney/X-23 is so young, and her story is set so far ahead of the rest of the X-Men universe, it would actually make more sense to give the character her own movie. It hasn’t been confirmed when The New Mutants is set, but the Dark Phoenix movie will be set in the 1990s, making it nearly impossible to connect to X-23’s time, barring any time travel story lines. Regardless, when asked if a potential X-23 movie would take away from the finality of Logan, Hutch Parker doesn’t think that would be the case. Here’s what he had to say in his interview with IGN.
“I don’t think so, because it goes back to the same bottom line which is, and this is where Jim is sort of a brilliant custodian of these characters and a brilliant storyteller. The impetus for him to make a movie is that he really feel passionately and strongly that he has a story that’s worth telling. And you know he’s as far from a cynical filmmaker as you can get. He’s as passionate and as committed and as invested as you can imagine, and as a result it’s its own guarantor if you will as to what an X-23 movie or a Laura movie would be. It’s another way of saying he wouldn’t do it just to do it. He will only do it if he finds a story that he thinks is worthy of standing on its own and where the X-23 character and the story being told is one that will compel and excite audiences, not in the same way as Logan because I think it will be different, but that will be successful in its own right, by its own measure, by the assessment of its own qualities and for the audience to embrace as something unique and sort of contained to itself. So I do think there is room for that, but it is incumbent on us to make sure that we find a story that really meets that criteria.”
At the end of Logan, Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine sacrificed himself in order to let X-23 and the rest of the young mutants get away from Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) and his army. It’s possible that the studio could move forward with a follow-up, showing X-23 and these young mutants on the run, but there is no indication that the studio is developing such a project. However, given the popularity of the R-rated Logan, which made $225.9 million domestic and $607.3 million from a $97 million budget, it wouldn’t be surprising if the studio did in fact go in this direction.