– by Joseph Jammer Medina

We’ve known for some time now that THE WOLVERINE III would mark Hugh Jackman’s last outing as the Adamantium-clawed mutant of the same name. It’s a role that brought the actor mainstream recognition, and one that helped to foster the popularization of comic book movies. As such, we know that this will be a big deal, as 20th Century Fox will be saying goodbye to a character that’s made them a heck of a lot of money.

However, it is entirely possible that the studio is laying the groundwork for the franchise’s future, if recent speculation is to be taken seriously.

Comicbook.com reported Tuesday that there’s been a casting call for the film. The casting call is for stand-ins that fit the following requirements: ”Caucasian, Hispanic and Asian looking females over the age of 21,” as well as heights of 4’-4’11” with dark brown hair. They are also looking for photo doubles that fit the description of: ”Caucasian, Hispanic, and Asian-looking females,” age 6-13, 4’2”-4’5”, and also with dark brown hair.

This is obviously not a heck of a lot to go off of, but that doesn’t stop the speculation train from going, and the folks over at SuperHeroHype are happy to hop on board, with the outlet claiming they’ve heard X-23 will be introduced in THE WOLVERINE III. While it’s admittedly quite the stretch, the character would fall within one or both of those range of descriptions, depending on the age they’re shooting for. 

For those unfamiliar, X-23 (a.k.a. Laura Kinney) is a character who made her debut in the animated series X-MEN: EVOLUTION, and then went on to enter the comic book canon in 2004. In her back story, she is the 23rd attempt at a Wolverine clone — thus her name, X-23. It certainly seems like a potential direction for the story, despite fan speculation that they’d adapt the OLD MAN LOGAN graphic novel.

This also seems to be a potential direction for the franchise to go following Hugh Jackman’s departure. If producer Simon Kinberg’s word is to be trusted, the studio doesn’t plan on re-casting Wolverine any time soon. As such, perhaps with the inclusion of X-23, they can retain that flavor of Wolverine without having to re-cast him. Sure, there is a bit of timeline difficulty. THE WOLVERINE III is said to take place in the future, and the main X-MEN franchise stuck in 1980s. It’ll require a bit of time-juggling, but that’s nothing the franchise hasn’t dealt with before. She’s a character who has also most-recently taken up the Wolverine name in the ALL-NEW WOLVERINE comic series, which started in 2015.

What do you think of X-23 potentially joining Logan and Professor X in THE WOLVERINE III? Is this a good move from Fox, and if it’s true, how do you think they’ll utilize the character?

Let us know in the comments below!

THE WOLVERINE III is set to hit theaters March 3, 2017.

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SOURCES Comicbook.com, SuperHeroHype

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.