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Logan and Laura battered and on the run

Director James Mangold’s first film since his 2017 Oscar-nominated X-Men movie Logan arrives next month in the form of Ford v Ferrari. Although he’s moved on to auto racing, that doesn’t mean that James Mangold is writing off mutants for good. In fact, James Mangold still wants to do his X-23 movie. When asked about the possibility the Logan director said:

Yes! Do I have an interest? Yes. Will it happen? At least in the near future, I doubt it.

James Mangold is still interested in returning to the world of mutants to write and direct the X-23 movie. A spinoff film featuring the young mutant seemed to be a real possibility, and a major fan hope, following the success of Logan and Dafne Keen’s breakout turn as Laura. At the time James Mangold said that there had been discussions about it and it seems that his interest in the project has not waned in the ensuing years, even though he’s moved on to new things.

So the acclaimed director is still down to do the movie if the opportunity arises. Interest only goes so far though, and despite the fact that he still wants to do X-23, James Mangold admitted to The Playlist that he doesn’t think it will happen. He’s clearly not working on it now and even if it does happen in the future, it won’t be anytime soon.

Under different circumstances, a successful and Oscar-nominated comic book movie with a breakout turn from a young actress would be a no-brainer to get a spinoff film. James Mangold even knew what the film would be about. However, while James Mangold did not cite this explicitly, the fallout of Disney purchase of 21st Century Fox makes X-23 unlikely.

Alongside other X-Men movies that were in the works including Gambit and X-Force, X-23 doesn’t seem like it is going to happen, another casualty of the Disney-Fox deal. At this point it looks like only Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool will make the jump to Marvel and everything else has been scrapped. Sadly, that means James Mangold’s X-23 as well.

We know that the mutants will be coming to the MCU eventually, Kevin Feige confirmed as much at Comic-Con, but when is an open question and given their absence on the Phase 4 slate, it seems like it will be Phase 5 or later (2022 and beyond) before we see them. Even then we don’t know if X-23 will be brought in or if Marvel Studios will recast Wolverine or both.

Still, if the MCU doesn’t have an X-23 movie and recasts the character or even if Laura doesn’t wind up in the MCU at all, Marvel Studios would do well to bring James Mangold into the fold to direct a Marvel movie. He’s an acclaimed director who delivered the best Wolverine movie we could hope for and he obviously cares about these characters. As such, bringing him in to do something in the MCU, even if it isn’t X-23, would be a smart move.

For now, James Mangold could be racing towards some major Oscar nominations for his racing drama Ford v Ferrari, in theaters on November 15. And you can see X-23 herself, Dafne Keen starring in HBO’s His Dark Materials, premiering on November 4. For all the biggest movies heading to theaters this year, check out our 2019 Release Schedule.

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