Hugh Jackman and his Wolverine beard have been posting a lot of photos lately. The actor and prolific Instagrammer has been sharing pictures of himself catching fish, admiring the scenery, hanging out with some deer — all normal things that people Instagram. (Well, most people don’t have face-to-face encounters with friendly deer, but if you’re Hugh Jackman, apparently you do.)
The internet, however, is very concerned about one Jackman ‘gram in particular, which shows the Wolverine star posing with some freshly cooked fish, earbuds in one ear, and giving the camera a triumphant thumbs up. “Now that’s what I’m talking about!” he captioned the photo.
The reason people are so distraught is that in the photo, the perpetually youthful Jackman seems to look older and more haggard. (After all, this is the guy who has played Wolverine in seven different X-Men movies between 2000 and now, and he’s looked exactly the same in all of them.) In fact, this photo sparked dozens of panicked headlines, including but not limited to: “Hugh Jackman is looking really old these days,” “What’s going on with Jackman’s face?” and “Hugh, is that you? Jackman looks unrecognizable in shocking new photo from set.”
So what does this all mean? Well, given the fact that Jackman is currently shooting the third Wolverine movie, and he’s teased that it could be based on the popular Wolverine comic storyline “Old Man Logan,” some are wondering if the two things might be connected.
Set in the post-apocalyptic future, Old Man Logan follows a Wolverine who has given up on violence and refused to use his claws. Exact plot details for Wolverine 3 are being kept under wraps, but Patrick Stewart is confirmed to reprise his role as Professor X, and producer Simon Kinberg has said that the film will be rated R and “like a Western in its tone.” Jackman has also said that the untitled Wolverine 3 will be his last appearance as the mutant with adamantium claws.
So maybe Jackman’s just wearing makeup and teasing a first look at Old Man Logan. Or, I don’t know, maybe he’s just lost a few hours of extra sleep, getting up early to catch all those fish. Maybe the Dorian Gray-like portrait that’s kept him young for all these years is starting to wear off. Or maybe Jackman is, like all of us, susceptible to bad lighting. Regardless, check out all of Jackman’s Instagrams below and feel free to speculate away.