At one point the role was set to go to Jessica Biel, but discussions didn't work out and now Russian actress Svetlana Khodchenkova is playing Viper in The Wolverine, the new film currently in production in Sydney, Australia. Hugh Jackman is returning to play the clawed warrior Logan, and it was his devoted fans who helped dig up the first photos of Khodchenkova in costume as Viper, bearing a seriously intimidating hairdo. Click on the photo of her below to see the full gallery of Wolverine set photos at HughJackMania:
You would probably have a hard time recognizing Khodchenkova anyway in that getup, but it's likely you haven't seen her before, since most of her acting credits come from Russian television. She did make an appearance in last year's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, as the woman who told Tom Hardy about the spy embedded in British intelligence, but that was a pretty small supporting part. Since Viper is written in the Wolverine comics as being Eastern European, Khodchenkova is a bit more accurate than Biel's would have been-- and depending on how the movie turns out, it might be a serious big break for the Russian actress.
In fact, there are a lot of big breaks to be had in The Wolverine, with Hugh Jackman pretty much the only name-brand actor on board. With the film set in Japan there are a handful of Japanese actors in the cast, plus Korean-American Will Yun Lee, last seen in the Total Recall remake. With James Mangold directing and a July 26 date set for next year, we don't have a whole lot longer to see how the latest Wolvy adventure pans out.
Staff Writer at CinemaBlend
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