With so much focus on the sequel to Deadpool and the slow moving pre-production for Gambitanother X-Men movie has quietly been pushed through development with less fanfare. The third Wolverine movie, featuring the franchise’s most popular character, is coming to theaters next year – and fans of clawed Canadian are starting to take more and more notice.

The third installment in the solo Wolverine series has been celebrated as the last time that actor Hugh Jackman will slip on the metal claws and mutton chops. Also returning to the fold is director James Mangold (3:10 to Yuma), who has seemingly formed a bond with the versatile actor while filming The Wolverine. The pair also collaborated on the story and approach to Wolverine 3, in order to give a fitting conclusion to the story of Jackman’s take on old Wolvie.

The Wolverine 3 production has spent the summer shooting primarily in New Mexico, supporting producer Simon Kinberg’s previous claim the the (R-Rated) film has an Old West flavor. Jackman recently took to his Twitter account to thank the state for hosting him and his production of Wolverine 3.

Jackman also recently caused waves when he was posted a picture of himself looking aged and weather-beaten, while out to dinner in New Mexico. While thousands on social media voiced their concern for the actor’s health, it’s far more likely that he was simply still in costume and makeup for his (Old Man?) Logan role. Savvy comic book fans continue to speculate that this look is indeed ripped from the famous Old Man Logan comic book story – where a despondent, older Wolverine goes on a roadtrip through an apocalyptic future.

If you’re still worried about the actor, fear not, as reports from OLV have Jackman appearing clean-shaven and “looking like his old self” recently. (He is an actor after all.) Additionally, his tweet isn’t a confirmation that production has totally wrapped or that Jackman has completely finished his 17-year X-Men stint. There may be more shooting scheduled for elsewhere and there will be inevitable reshoots or pickup shots that may be required in the near future.

Regardless, we all should take the time to appreciate the months of buildup leading to the release of Wolverine 3, because after that…things in the X-Men universe will never be the same.

NEXT: Patrick Stewart Talks Professor X in Wolverine 3

Wolverine 3 opens in U.S. theaters on March 3rd, 2017, followed by unannounced X-Men films on October 6th, 2017March 2nd, 2018, and June 29th, 2018. Deadpool 2, Gambit, New Mutants and X-Force are currently in development.

Source: OLV, Hugh Jackman

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