Theories on Hugh Jackman's third "Wolverine" film are beginning to take shape as the rumored title, recent set pictures, film casting call, and his scene from "X-Men Apocalypse" all seem to be pointing in one singular direction. While fans have thought "Wolverine 3" would be titled "Old Man Logan," news broke earlier today that Fox has allegedly registered the title "Wolverine: Weapon X" instead.
More evidence supporting the "Weapon X" title is how Wolverine was featured in "X-Men Apocalypse." Since "Apocalypse" centered on the younger team of mutants, it was not necessary to include Jackman in the film, and yet Simon Kinberg and Bryan Singer made the deliberate choice of having Xavier's gifted youngsters taken to Alkali Lake by William Stryker. While held prisoner at the lake, Jean Grey let Logan out of his containment hold, unleashing him on Stryker's men. Logan was wearing head gear, like in this photo posted by Jackman's stunt double:
The "Apocalypse" post credit scene also aids the possible "Weapon X" title. The final scene in "Apocalypse" wasn't focused on the mutants, Professor X, or even Magneto -- it took us back to Alkali Lake where someone with a briefcase stole a vial of Wolverine's DNA. The briefcase was lined with a few other DNA samples and had the name Essex written on it. In the comics, the Essex Corp. was owned by Mr. Sinister, a known villain of the X-Men with a penchant for cloning. His origins were revealed in "The Further Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix" in which Scott Summers and Jean Grey traveled back to Victorian London., where they discovered Apocalypse had imbued scientist Nathaniel Essex with mutant abilities, particularly that of not aging. Essex also tried to clone numerous X-Men in the comics, including Jean and Cyclops.
British actor Richard E. Grant was recently cast in "Wolverine 3" as a mad scientist type, could he be playing Dr. Nathaniel Essex AKA Mr. Sinister? If Mr. Sinister is going to play "Wolverine 3's" villain and he has Wolverine's DNA via that post-credit scene, could he be the man responsible for creating Logan's clone X-23? So far no one has been cast as Laura Kinney/X-23 in "Wolverine 3," but a casting call was recently put out for a young woman who, like X-23, was raised in captivity:
20th Century Fox are seeking a a 11 - 14 year old girl to play the role of Zoe in a brand new movie!! [ZOE] 11 to 14 year-old girl. Still a child, but a wounded badass, a pound puppy, raised in captivity in a time of battle, without support systems of normal childhood.
She has no family and until now, has never left the compound in which she was born. She has an authentic intensity - her expressions and body language speak volumes, without words. Once released in the outside world, everything is new - every experience and every image a first. This does not mean everything is wonderful or wondrous. Some things she sees (things we might regard as conventional) may scare her or anger her and things we may find interesting may bore her. She has not been instructed in many social conventions - she can eat like an animal. She studies and often mimics people's behavior. She has a high IQ, but is also a temperamental, impulsive and feral creature that can raise genuine mayhem. She is a girl that has never been kissed. Looking for a REAL girl - not made up or done up. Also with genuine edge, not made up or put on. Martial arts or gymnastics experience preferred but not necessary - but actress must be extremely physical and able to improvise scenes without necessarily resorting to speech. Do NOT play it 'cute.
Since the Weapon X program has played such an important role in Wolverine's journey throughout all the "X-Men" movies, it's possible he could get the final resolution to the program in this film. And if Logan dies (since Jackman said this was his last "Wolverine" film,) he could easily pass on his mantel to X-23 which would secure the "Wolverine" film franchise for a new generation.
While "Wolverine: Weapon X" wouldn't rule out some "Old Man Logan" storylines, it does suggest a different direction for the film. The first "Old Man Logan" series was set on an alternate Earth and featured Logan on a revenge road trip after the world was beset upon by Marvel's greatest villains. The second "Old Man Logan" storyline took place on Battleworld as part of the "Secret Wars" storyline that launched Marvel's current run of "All -New, All-Different" comics. In "All-New, All-Different" X-23 is the new Wolverine, since Logan's demise in "Death of Wolverine." All of these stories could play into "Wolverine 3" but it seems like the Weapon X program and the rise of X-23 are the most logical arc of the film.
"Wolverine 3" stars Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Stephen Merchant, Boyd Holbrook, Elise Neal, and opens on March 3, 2017.