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It’s been a big week for The Wolverine, Fox’s long-delayed follow-up to 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Following news that the film has secured actors for such key roles as Silver Samurai and Logan’s ex-lover Mariko Yashida comes word that director James Mangold may be zeroing in on its Viper.
According to Twitch, Blade: Trinity and Total Recall actress Jessica Biel has been offered the part of the terrorist and mercenary with ties to HYDRA, the Hellfire Club and the Serpent Squad. Created by Jim Steranko, Viper — sometimes with her employee Silver Samurai — has battled such Marvel superheroes as Wolverine, the X-Men, Captain America, Black Widow and The Punisher.
Based in part on the 1982 Wolverine miniseries by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, The Wolverine has Logan (again played by Hugh Jackman) battling ninjas and the politics of the Tokyo criminal underworld for the heart of his ex-lover, the daughter of a Japanese crime lord.
Biel would join a rapidly expanding cast that includes Jackman, Will Yun Lee, Hiroyuki Sanada, Hal Yamanouchi, Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukushima and Brian Tee. Filming is set to begin next month in Australia before moving to Japan. The Wolverine opens July 26, 2013.