Jessica Biel joins The Wolverine as Viper

Update: Biel spoke with HitFix at ComicCon and said “it’s a little bit too soon for that kind of an announcement”. The actress seems familiar with the character so it’s clear she’s had discussions about taking on the role, but nothing is official just yet.

Casting details for The Wolverine have been flying thick and fast this week, with Will Yun Lee being set as the Silver Samurai and a bunch of Japanese actors filling out supporting roles.

Now Twitch has heard (which was later confirmed by Deadline) that Jessica Biel has been cast alongside Hugh Jackman as the villainess Viper.

Viper (also known as Madame Hydra) originally appeared in the Captain America comics and, while she has no superpowers, has excellent strength, speed, reflexes, agility, dexterity, coordination, balance, and endurance. The character features in Wolverine’s stories as both a friend and foe, and was romantically involved with the Silver Samurai.

She was given the task of killing Wolverine’s female friend Mariko (to be played by Tao Okamoto), but she later blackmailed Wolverine into marrying her and the pair grew close, so it looks like Wolverine will be having woman trouble (again).

The script, written by The Usual Suspects writer Christopher McQuarrie, takes Wolverine to Japan where he falls for a human called Mariko, the daughter of a Japanese crime lord. James Mangold (Walk the Line, 3:10 to Yuma) is directing, and shooting will begin next month in Australia.

Jessica Biel will next be seen in Total Recall, and The Wolverine will mark her second appearance in a Marvel film having starred in Blade: Trinity.