In the early days of the X-Men films, the name on everybody’s lips was Wolverine. Fox could not get enough of Hugh Jackman’s Logan, and they must’ve thought he was the only character that could be the face of the franchise and successfully lead standalone films. By the time Jackman retires from the role, he will have appeared in every X-Men movie sans Deadpool, including X-Men: Apocalypse and the untitled Wolverine 3. That’s a total of nine appearances.
But this is a brand new day. Ryan Reynolds’ Merc with the Mouth was a hit at the box office, and there are new plans to expand the franchise. As it turns out, director Bryan Singer had an interesting idea that would keep the essence of Wolverine alive without Jackman, while finally completing that still lingering X-Force movie, and maybe even providing another opportunity for a female superhero.
I’m talking about X-23, a.k.a. Laura Kinney, a.k.a. a Wolverine clone. There has been unsubstantiated Internet chatter about Weapon X coming into the picture in future X-Men films, and Singer said he actually pitched the idea to Fox. When asked by Fandango about the X-23 rumors specifically and whether the studio asked him for guidance in a post-Wolverine cinematic world, Singer said:
I have discussed that with the studio. I actually initially pitched the X-Force and the female.
There have been various X-Force line-ups in the comics, but as soon as Jeff Wadlow (Kick-Ass 2) was revealed to be working on a script a couple years ago, a piece of concept art from Gregory Semkow hit the Web. Since then, news has been stagnant and it seemed like this project would never come to fruition. As Fandango even pointed out, word on the street was that the tone was too similar to Apocalypse, and by this point there was already positive response around Deadpool, which has been officially greenlit for a sequel.
Fox scheduled two unannounced Marvel movies for future releases, so perhaps one of them is reserved for X-Force, and here’s hoping for that feral female slashing her way into the picture. We’ll have to wait and see, but beyond Deadpool and Gambit (which Fox still promises to turn around), Josh Boone (The Fault In Our Stars) is working on a New Mutants adaption. X-23 would certainly go with this new direction of crafting stories around a younger generation of mutants.