So it won't just be an Asian cast sans Hugh Jackman after all. Deadline reports that Jessica Biel has accepted a villain role in The Wolverine, the sequel to the spin-off X-Men prequel that begins filming next month. She will play 'The Viper', a character who interestingly started life as a Captain America baddie but for whatever reasons falls under 20th Century Fox's rights package for Marvel's X-Men characters. She is not a mutant as such as a lethal killer whose weapons are often snake themed. Biel's casting looks to complete the main cast for James Mangold's (3:10 to Yuma, Knight & Day) Japanese set film. Former Lost actor Hiroyuki Sanada will play Shingen, a Yakuza boss and father to Mariko, who will be played by newcomer Tao Okamoto. Mariko becomes romantically involved with Logan against Shingens wishes as he wants her to marry another Yakuza boss. Shingen challenges Logan to a duel and has him drugged by his assassin Yukio, who will be played by Rila Fukushima. Veteran actor Hal Yamanouchi, who you might recognise from dozen of supporting roles from The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou to Push will play Yashida, who is likely part of Shingens clan. Will Yun Lee plays main villain Silver Samurai and Brian Tee is a corrupt politician. In the comics, Biel's character is a lover of Silver Samurai and is tasked with the job of assassinating Mariko through poisoning. One would think this will become part of the plot. The actress then becomes the second cast member from Marvel movie Blade: Trinity to come over to The Wolverine franchise after Ryan Reynolds did the same playing Deadpool. Biel is usually forgettable in blockbuster settings as she was in the aforementioned Blade movie, The A-Team and we're guessing the forthcoming Total Recall remake... but she's obviously good eye candy and that kind of distraction would have come welcome in the first film! Having said that we have decent hopes for this sequel based on Frank Miller and Chris Claremon't classic run with Wolverine in the 80s. It has origins as a Darren Aronofsky project (which although he is no longer on board, obviously helps), and Screenwriter Mark Bomback, who wrote the forthcoming Total Recall remake, has called it a character driven movie with a 70s feel, previously comparing it to Clint Eastwoods classic western The Outlaw Josey Wales. The Wolverine is due in theatres July 26th, 2013 and will be shot in Japan and Australia.
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