Wolverine 3 casting description suggests X-23's debut

A new casting description hints at a surprise character's debut in the third standalone Wolverine flick. Some leaked set photos have revealed a bearded, older Logan (Hugh Jackman) interacting with an even older Charles Xavier (the Patrick Stewart version). Perhaps more importantly, Jackman can be seen with a young girl by his side in some of the pictures.

The Hashtag Show (via ScreenCrush) claims they have received a casting call description for an important character in The Wolverine 3. The film is being made under the code name Juarez, and here's the project's description of one of its roles:

[ZOE] 12 to 15 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 & 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."

If you're a fan of the comics, you've probably already connected the dots, but we'll break things down even further. Based on the description and set photos, the girl is likely Laura Kinney, also known as X-23. Kinney is a clone of Wolverine, and she's got a healing factor, uncontrollable rage, and claws (two coming out of each hand and one coming out of each foot)—complete with an Adamantium-coated skeleton to boot, courtesy of the Weapon X program. The young age of Jackman's costar coincides with the character's age after her original escape from Weapon X.

The post-credits scene after X-Men: Apocalypse featured someone from Essex Corp. stealing samples of Wolverine's blood from the Alkali Lake Weapon X compound. Essex Corp. ties into Nathaniel Essex, best known as the comics character Mr. Sinister—a longtime X-Men villain who has been known to dabble in cloning from time to time. We have a feeling that Essex will help create X-23 for the movie, and Wolverine will meet her and become her father figure.

The Wolverine 3 (final name still pending) is set to debut on March 3, 2017.