Well that was fast. With production on The Wolverine set to begin in a matter of weeks, director James Mangold was closing in on his female lead. Jessica Biel was offered the role of Viper early last week, but we subsequently reported that talks between Biel and 20th Century Fox broke down and she would no longer be taking the role. Now, just a couple of days later, it appears that Svetlana Khodchenkova has entered talks to take over the part opposite Hugh Jackman. Hit the jump for more.
News of Khodchenkova’s involvement comes via Twitch, who reports that the actress is now in talks for the role and is expected to close the deal quickly. The Russian actress is mostly known for her work in Russia, but she appeared last year in the espionage drama Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. The character of Viper is said to be of Eastern European decent and has a complex relationship with Wolverine that includes, at one point, a sham marriage.
On location work on The Wolverine will be done in Japan, while stage work will be shot in Australia. We recently reported a number of Japanese additions to the cast, including Hiroyuki Sanada (The Last Samurai), Hal Yamanouchi (The Way Back), Tao Okamoto and Rila Fukushima. The film’s villain, Harada (aka The Silver Samurai) will be played by Will Yun Lee (Die Another Day). As you’ve probably surmised, the story follows the comic book arc from Chris Claremont and Frank Miller that finds Logan as an outsider in Japan.