Send in the clones.
The Morning Ledger is reporting that 20th Century Fox's third Wolverine solo film Logan has cast newcomer Dafne Keen as Laura Kinney, better known to Marvel Comics fans as the female Wolverine clone X-23.
Set in the future of 2024, Logan reportedly focuses on Wolverine and Professor Charles Xavier coping with the loss of the X-Men and facing off against Donald Pierce, head of security for a global corporation known as Transigen. With Logan's healing abilities slowly fading away and Xavier's Alzheimer's casuing him to forget, Logan must defeat Pierce with the help of a young girl named Laura Kinney, a female clone of Wolverine.
In addition to Hugh Jackman and Sir Patrick Stewart reprising their roles of Wolverine and Professor X, Logan will also feature Boyd Holbrook and Richard E. Grant as Dr. Zander Rice.
Created in 2003 by by Craig Kyle and Chris Yost, X-23 first appeared in the animated series X-Men: Evolution episode "X-23." Wolverine discovered through S.H.I.E.L.D. that Dr. Deborah Risman, working for HYDRA, had created a female clone of him. The clone possessed two retractable claws in each hand (instead of three like Wolverine) and one similarly retractable claw in each foot (something Wolverine lacks). The clone was identified only by the codename X-23 — the first success after 22 failures. Denied the life of a normal child, X-23 was lonely and violent. She had almost no companions and had been under observation her entire life. She had to spend most of her time training to hone her skills. When she was 12, her entire skeleton was infused with adamantium.
X-23's first appearance in the Marvel Comics Universe was in 2004's NYX #3, written by Joe Quesada and drawn by Joshua Middleton. In this version of the character, a top-secret program was tasked to replicate the original Weapon X experiment that bonded adamantium to the skeleton of Wolverine. The project was taken in a new direction, with Dr. Martin Sutter recruiting renowned mutant geneticist Doctor Sarah Kinney to develop a clone of Wolverine. Also on the team was Sutter's protege, Dr. Zander Rice, who was raised by Sutter after his father was killed by the original Weapon X.
With the only genetic sample from Weapon X damaged, Kinney was unable to salvage the Y chromosome. Kinney proposed the creation of a female genetic twin, but her request was denied and Rice was opposed to the idea. After 22 failed attempts at reconstituting the DNA using a duplicate X chromosome, the 23rd sample yielded a viable sample to combine with an embryo. Although Kinney was allowed to proceed, Rice exacted revenge for her insubordination by forcing her to act as the surrogate mother of the specimen. For nine months, Kinney's every move was monitored. Finally, she gave birth to "X-23".
After seven years, Rice subjected X-23 to radiation poisoning in order to activate her mutant gene. He extracted her claws, coated them with adamantium, and reinserted them back into her hands and feet – a procedure performed without affording the child any anesthetic. Rice created a "trigger scent" that drove X-23 into a murderous rage when she detected it. X-23 was then trained to be a hired assassin, ordered to kill "anyone...everyone...for a price."
Later, Kinney's niece Megan was abducted by a serial killer, so she smuggled X-23 out of the facility to rescue her. X-23 tracked the abductor to his apartment, killed him, and freed Megan. Kinney was fired when she returned and was escorted off the base. Shortly thereafter, Rice assigned X-23 to eliminate Sutter and his family, and ordered her to keep it secret. X-23 revealed to Sarah that Rice was responsible for the murders.
Kinney drafted a letter to her daughter, assigning her a final mission -- destroy the pods and kill Rice. X-23 succeeded and met her mother, so they could prepare to flee. However, prior to his death, Rice exposed Kinney to the trigger scent. X-23 went into a murderous frenzy and murdered her mother. As she died, Kinney told X-23 that her name is Laura and that she loved her, handing her the letter and pictures of Charles Xavier, Wolverine, and the Xavier Institute.
This will be X-23's first appearance in live-action, but the character has appeared in the animated projects X-Men: Evolution (voiced by Andrea Libman and Britt Irvin), and Wolverine and the X-Men (voiced by Tara Strong).
Logan is currently scheduled to arrive in theaters on March 3, 2017.