‘Logan’ Director James Mangold Is ‘Dreaming’ Up an X-23 Spinoff
Every once in a while, a female-driven film is so successful that it wakes studios up a little more to the reality that women actually watch movies. Bridesmaids paved the way for more raunchy female comedies; The Hunger Games and Twilight gave us a slew of YA copycats (and the subsequently more interesting careers of Jennifer Lawrence and Kristen Stewart); and now Wonder Woman is inspiring studios to place more emphasis on their female superheroes. One of those heroes could be X-23, aka Laura, Hugh Jackman’s young mutant sidekick in Logan.
An X-23 spinoff isn’t officially in the works or anything, but in a new interview with THR, director James Mangold cited the success of Wonder Woman (so acclaimed that Warner Bros. has launched an Oscar campaign for it) as a potential gateway to giving newcomer Dafne Keen her own film:
Patty [Jenkins’] success with [Wonder Woman] only solidifies more for studios that there’s less to fear with a female protagonist. The more that keeps getting hit home, that ends up giving me more space turning around and going, ‘Well here we are with a female protagonist. That’s incredible. And what are we going to do with her?’ And that’s where we are with that [the Laura script] right now, dreaming.
As Mangold explains, the X-23 spinoff idea is in the very early stages of development — “dreaming,” he says. But a film centered on Keen’s Wolverine clone makes sense; Jackman is done with the X-Men franchise, and Fox is hesitant to recast their mutant mascot anytime soon…but they could replace him with Laura, bringing a female Wolverine to the X-universe.
For now, Fox has several upcoming projects in their superhero franchise: Deadpool 2, New Mutants, and X-Men: Dark Phoenix are all arriving next year, followed by X-Force (featuring Ryan Reynolds and Josh Brolin) and Channing Tatum’s long-developing Gambit spinoff.