Dafne Keen and the Future of Wolverine
I've gushed about Logan almost non-stop since the film's release, I've done it here, at weddings, on soundcloud and my friends and family are really sick and tired of it. I however am not and so have still been prowling around looking for ANY word about what is going to happen to the Wolverine mythos now that Hugh Jackman has retracted his claws for the last time. Well, we might have just gotten an answer in the form of Dafne Keen.
Let me be clear about something: I was PUMPED when I saw the first trailer for Old Man Logan and saw X-23. As much of a fan of the X-Men I was, it wasn't until I saw a comic book cover featuring her following the events of Messiah War that I fell head over heels back into the comics. Laura isn't just some clone of Wolverine, he isn't just a female version of him. She deals with her own issues of personhood and understanding on a level rarely seen in popular media.
I was however TERRIFIED that we were going to have a child actor playing one of my all time favourite Marvel characters. Child actors can make or break a movie and with the entire plotline of Old Man Logan hinging on Dafne Keen's shoulders, the entire film could have gone pear shaped if she hadn't been up to the task. I'm not saying there aren't good child actors, there are. Just that it's a major risk.
Thank God my fears were misplaced. Dafne Keen more than held her own, she was the breakout star in a film of titanic performances. Watching a half pint version of Wolverine's rage go town on anything that looked at her the wrong way was exciting. Hearing her talk about her father and the world around her like a war weary adult was haunting. In short, she was perfect. I wanted more. I left the theatre hoping I had just seen Jackman's successor to the role.
Apparently director James Mangold agrees with me. In an interview at the premier of Logan Noir, the film's director told Comicbookresources that "I've certainly talked to them about it. I even talked to them about it before we made the movie. I thought she was just such a great character, but with what Dafne did, i think that certainly that's possible."
So we have the director of one of the most successful super hero films ever saying he's talked to studio executives of continuing the story of X-23 and having Dafne Keen continue in the role she nailed. YES! Fans of the comics will know that that story of Laura is far from over, she even replaces Logan and is the current Wolverine in the comic line. Her stories deal more prominently with the issues of PTSD and living with her past than even Logan's did and to top it all off we can get more of the incredible developing talent of Dafne.
He's hoping that 20th Century Fox studio executives were listening. Doubly so that both Ms. Keen and Mr. Mangold have time to work on the first solo X-23 film together.