When the buzz around "Logan" first started it came also with the assumption that it would be the last time either Hugh Jackman or Patrick Stewart would appear as their X-Men characters — although that's no longer the case given the revelation Ryan Reynolds recently made announcing the Wolverine actor would indeed have a part to play in "Deadpool 3." Part of that announcement even included the caveat that the decision wouldn't affect the heartbreakingly fitting end seen in "Logan" — which was loosely based on the "Old Man Logan" comic by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven.

It easily holds the title of the darkest, bloodiest, and most tragic "X-Men" movie ever made. Both Professor Xavier and Wolverine die in the film, after all — not to mention the alluded-to off-screen deaths of the rest of the team. But hidden in all that sorrowful exposition is a touching story about the last of the X-Men passing on the mantle to a younger (and hopefully more successful) generation of mutant heroes. As a result, the dynamic between Wolverine and his "daughter" Laura / X-23 is crucial to the plot and its character-driven story. When it came to casting Dafne Keen (who was 11 years old while filming) both Jackman and director James Mangold knew pretty quickly they'd found the perfect person for the role.

Punching Your Way To The Top Like Wolverine

It might be called "Logan," but without Laura / X-23, the film loses much of what made it such a spectacular send-off. "There's no way this film works w/o the remarkable Daphne Keen," Mangold said in a Tweet from 2020. "By the film's 2nd half, the tables have turned & she is carrying the entire movie as Logan has retreated in sickness & self-doubt." Without her, it's just a far more gritty version of "The Wolverine" — but with her, there's a far more weighted finality to this changing of the guard for the X-Men.

Jackman replied with his own Tweet, adding that after Mangold came up with Laura's character, it was clear that the "movie was in essence about family." Which led to concerns about finding "the right fit" for her character. That is until Keen showed up. Right away, she let both Jackman and Mangold she meant business. "The first day we auditioned her," the actor continued, "she punched me in the arm so hard, I was literally bruised the next day. Hired."

When Logan and Laura first meet in the film their goals are at first at odds with one another — but their methods for achieving them aren't. Like her biological father, she uses her adamantium claws to hack her way through anyone she perceives as a threat. Becoming a vision of the weapon Logan once believed he'd once avoided turning into himself. So her ferocity with that punch was probably exactly what they were going for. But it's also the reason that the first fight scene in which she cuts through a group of mercenaries with feral intensity is so riveting.

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