2017’s Logan marked the end of Hugh Jackman’s tenure as Wolverine, but it also opened the door for another character to take center stage in the X-Men franchise for years to come… or at least, that’s how it initially seemed. Logan introduced the eponymous character’s biological daughter Laura, better known to comics fans as X-23. Following Logan’s release, there was talk about Dafne Keen reprising X-23 in her own spinoff, but the actress’ latest update on the project doesn’t bode well for it moving forward.
I got told by some people at Fox that there might be another one, but this was ages ago when we were filming, and they haven't contacted me ever again.
A few months after Logan came out, director James Mangold, who helmed the third Wolverine move, said there’d been discussions about delivering an X-23 spinoff. When we left off with Laura at the end of Logan, she’d buried her father, who was fatally injured during the battle with the feral X-24 clone, and left with the other young mutants to cross the Canadian border. So the path was certainly clear for Laura to embark on her own adventures.
However, a lot has changed on the X-Men front since Logan’s release, particularly with Disney having acquired 20th Century Fox. As a result, Marvel Studios now has access to the X-Men and Fantastic Four properties, and while no specific plans have been announced for them yet, it’s expected that they’ll be rebooted to fit within the Marvel Cinematic Universe continuity (with the exception of Ryan Reynolds returning as the fourth wall-breaking Deadpool). As such, the chances of the X-23 spinoff happening seem unlikely, though Dafne Keen would certainly be game to keep playing the character. In her words:
I feel like we're just at the beginning, there’s more to be told, and it's a relay race. I come into play when they've already written and done pre-production and decided on doing the film, so as soon as they say, ‘go,’ I'll happily go whenever.
Had Disney not purchased Fox, it certainly sounds like the X-23 movie stood a legitimate chance of getting the green light alongside other X-Men spinoffs, including Gambit, X-Force and two New Mutants sequels. Alas, with Dark Phoenix having brought the main film series to both a critically and commercially disappointing end, and The New Mutants having also failed to impress earlier this year, it looks like this superhero movie era is coming to a close. Unless Disney announces that it’s recruiting Dafne Keen to help headline its upcoming X-Men fare as X-23, presumably we can count the actress’ outing as Laura to be a one-and-done experience.
For now, you can catch Dafne Keen in His Dark Materials, which airs Monday nights on HBO Max. Keep your eyes peeled on CinemaBlend for X-Men-related news, and look through our Marvel movies guide to learn what the MCU has planned for the coming years.