We haven’t seen the last of Dafne Keen’s Laura.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, Logan director James Mangold has confirmed that work has already begun on a spinoff movie featuring X-23, the young mutant who wormed her way into the hearts and minds of film fans earlier this year. Heck, one could argue that the breakout star stole the show from Wolverine, her biological father, so to say that this announcement has been long overdue would be a big, big understatement.
Details are few and far between at this early, early stage, but when Mangold elaborated on his nascent spinoff, one that will seemingly expand upon Logan‘s neo-noir world, the filmmaker pointed to Wonder Woman and its meteoric success as an example of a female-led superhero movie done right.
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.
X-23 now joins Gambit, Deadpool 2, Dark Phoenix and The New Mutants on Fox’s crowded slate, though it should be noted that Hugh Jackman, who delivered his final performance as Logan back in March, won’t be involved in the project whatsoever, stating:
No, I won’t be a producer on a Laura sequel. But I will be lining up on the Thursday night at 10 pm to watch it though. She is just phenomenal.
As for how this project fits into the overarching mutant universe, X-Men franchise producer Hutch Parker pointed to the ways in which The New Mutants branches off into horror territory as an example of Fox’s diversity.
Yes, there are other facets of that character and some others potentially to explore in their own way. 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.
On the topic of Logan‘s Oscar chances, Parker kept his expectations in check:
I’m realistic about the kind of movie this is, and I’m hopeful that various people in those positions will see it and recognize it — even though it is an R-rated movie, and even though it has a legacy as part of a comic book franchise. I’d love for people to be able to assess the craft on the performances and the work on their own merits.
All those prayers to the Movie Gods have been answered: an X-23 spinoff has officially entered the early stages of development at 20th Century Fox, with Dafne Keen expected to reprise her breakout role. All that’s left now is for the Academy to stand up and recognize Logan at this year’s Oscars ceremony. Is that really too much to ask?