The worst kept secret about Logan is that Dafne Keen is playing Laura Kinney, aka X-23. For those who don’t know the connection between X-23 and Wolverine, you’ll want to look away from the latest bit of promotional material from 20th Century Fox. Also, you’ll want to look away if you have issues with governments experimenting on kids in graphic detail, blood, or have a history of cutting.
For the rest of us, this piece of viral marketing shows “home footage” of Laura Kinney’s transformation from young girl to damaged government weapon in less than a minute. I’m not going to lie; the footage is difficult to watch. I have kids and my hands itched to reach through the screen and rescue X-23 from a life of experimentation. The video also hammers home why Logan received an R-rating from the MPAA. Taking an adult human male like Logan (Hugh Jackman) and performing inhumane experiments on him is one thing; watching violence happen to an 11-year-old is something comic book movies have shied away from up until now.
In fact, Logan is leaning in so hard on how messed up the Weapon X project is that Variety reports the film spooked executives over at Fox. Chairman Stacey Snider touched on those concerns at the Recode Media conference.
“Inside, there was real consternation about the intensity of the tone of the film. It’s more of an elegy about life and death. The paradigm for it was a Western, and my colleagues were up in arms. It’s not a wise-cracking cigar-chomping mutton-sporting Wolverine, and the debate internally became, isn’t that freakin’ boring? Isn’t it exciting to imagine Wolverine as a real guy and he’s world-weary and he doesn’t want to fight anymore until a little girl needs him?”
Without spoiling the connection between Wolverine and X-23 for non-comic fans, the new character profile indicates Logan won’t shy away from what becomes of a girl who is deprived of love and utilized for the gain of men in white lab coats. The footage ends with Laura cutting herself, to paraphrase Johnny Cash from the trailer, to see if she can still feel.