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When I reported earlier that Hiroyuki Sanada, Hal Yamanouchi, Tao Okamoto and Rila Fukushima had joined the cast of James Mangold's The Wolverine, I noted that because of the quickly coming production start date that we would start seeing a rush of Wolverine casting announcements soon. I didn't anticipate for it to start this quickly, however.
Variety has gotten word that actor Will Yun Lee has signed on to play the villain The Silver Samurai in the X-Men Origins: Wolverine sequel. Based on the origin story by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, the new movie takes the adamantium-laced mutant to Japan where he begins to grow a consciousness about his identity. Hugh Jackman will be making his sixth appearance as the titular character in the film, which is more times than any other actor has played any other single superhero (Christopher Reeve is in second place with four appearances as Superman). The script for The Wolverine was written by Oscar-winning screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects), though a rewrite was done by Mark Bomback (Live Free Or Die Hard). Production, which will take place mostly in Australia but will also go to Japan, is scheduled to commence next month.
Also known as Kenuichio Harada, The Silver Samurai is a mutant like Wolverine, but his ability allows him to charge objects with a tachyon field that can cut through anything...and yes, that includes adamantium. He most often channels his mutant energy into his katana. It was first revealed last July that the character would be the main villain of The Wolverine.
Will Yun Lee is probably more familiar to regular TV watchers than film-goers. Beginning his career in the late 90s, Yun Lee, who was born in Arlington, Virginia, has appeared on shows such as Witchblade, Law & Order, Thief, CSI, Bionic Woman and, most recently, Hawaii Five-0. He does have a string of films coming up including the Red Dawn remake (where he also plays the central villain) and Len Wiseman's Total Recall.