Wolverine has taken his final bow in James Mangold’s Logan, but newly released concept art shows how much of a different movie the R-rated superhero Western could have been. Namely, Laura — (ultimately played by 12-year-old actress Dafne Keen) would have been a little older and much more rebellious.
In an interview with ComicBook, the film’s conceptual designers Aaron Sims, Steffen Reichstadt, and Eve Ventrue — who make up Aaron Sims Creative — revealed that a teenaged Laura was considered. Other conceptual designs from the team include alternate looks for Logan, Caliban, and Charles Xavier.
“Punk runaway was the feeling that we were initially asked to portray,” Reichstadt said in the interview. Ventrue added: “I wanted her to be a rebellious teenage girl who appears tough and strong-minded. I played around with some outfits from the Gothic and Punk scene that would fit her character best and also tested some concepts that would be practical for fighting. She really should make a prominent appearance on screen.”
Aaron Sims Creative said that their designs were based on a much earlier draft of the script in which Laura was a teenager. Later rewrites turned her into the 11-year-old badass killer audiences fell in love with. It’s also worth pointing out that some of their designs look remarkably close to the black leather X-23 wears in the comics.
Wolverine, on the other hand, was a less dramatic character to form. “We all know Wolverine as a fiery character, so only practical and light clothing would match his character,” she said. “When doing the first costume designs, I assumed that his personal style wouldn’t change much compared with his younger version so I tried to keep it simple and clean — his striking personality would stand for itself and not need any elaborate and fancy design.”
Other concepts the team designed were a more alien-like Caliban, the albino mutant whose power is to track other mutants, and flying machines straight out of a sci-fi dystopia. Mangold ultimately took Logan in a more rustic direction, homaging bleak Westerns rather than the dystopian apocalypse of Mark Millar’s graphic novel Old Man Logan, which inspired the film.
Check out some of Aaron Sims Creative’s designs for Laura, aka X-23, below.
Logan is now playing in theaters.