The efforts to cast Viper in James Mangold‘s The Wolverine have been more publicly complicated than is typical for a supporting part, but it seems like things might be sorted out soon. Jessica Biel was brought up as a likely choice to play the semi-antagonist Viper, but those talks broke down, leaving the role open and Fox and producers looking at other choices.

Now Russian actress Svetlana Khodchenkova, who hasn’t been in many English-language films but did have a prominent role in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (as pictured above), is reported to be the new choice.

Twitch has the news, and points out that Khodchenkova is a seemingly better choice than Biel, if only because her own background makes her a good fit for Viper, a Hungarian orphan adopted and trained by the HYDRA organization. In Marvel’s comics continuity, Viper is at one point assigned to kill Mariko Yashida, who happens to be the woman that Wolverine is in love with in the story that inspired Christopher McQuarrie’s script for this film.

The Wolverine also features Hiroyuki Sanada, Hal Yamanouchi, Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukushima, and Will Yun Lee as Viper paramour the Silver Samurai, and is meant to start shooting next month. The film will hit theaters July 26, 2013.

 

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