Dafne Keen wowed X-Men fans the world over when she made her superhero debut earlier this year in Logan, and fans have wondered whether the young actress will have a future in the X-Men multiverse. Over in the comics, the character of X-23 took on the mantle of Wolverine himself. Will Fox choose to take a similar direction?
Until now, we’ve only had hopes that Keen would return to Fox’s X-Men films. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, director James Mangold — the man behind Logan — has confirmed that he’s working on a script for her. Inspired by Patty Jenkins’s Wonder Woman, Mangold told The Hollywood Reporter:
“Patty’s success with that film 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.”
Producer Hutch Parker, clearly blown away by the success of Logan, has stressed that the spinoff will be very different:
“It may not be in the same exact tonality or with the same genre orientations as Logan, but I think part of what has been opened up in this universe to all of us now is, drawing on different genre traditions, there are new pathways to be opened for new characters that populate this universe.”
Fox’s recent experimental approach to the X-Men movies is paying dividends. Deadpool was an R-rated raunchy comedy, Logan a brutal, bloody Western, and next year’s New Mutants promises to launch a new horror franchise. Fox has learned that superhero films can vary wildly in tone and style, and the studio is clearly working on finding the right genre and tone for a solo X-23 film.
One figure who won’t be returning is Hugh Jackman, who confirmed he won’t be a producer on the spinoff, but will definitely be queuing up to watch it. “She is just phenomenal,” he told THR.