UPDATE: Collider now reports that “talks have broken down” between Biel’s people and the studio, so Biel is no longer in the running for the role.
After a handful of announcements came out a few days ago filling the roles of Hugh Jackman’s new love, father-in-law, partner, and arch-enemy for his upcoming Japan-based adventure The Wolverine, it looked like all of the big parts in this film were probably close to being taken. But some new casting news that hit today might be the biggest yet. Twitch reported earlier in the day that director James Mangold and company had offered Jessica Biel the role of the villainous Viper, and Deadline Madripoor has since taken things a step further and reported that she’s officially been cast.
So, who is the Viper? She’s a Marvel villain with a long history and complex relationships with several of the other characters who appear in this story. Part terrorist, part secret agent, Viper was an operative trained by the evil organization Hydra, who you might remember as appearing in last year’s Captain America: The First Avenger. She has no real superpowers, but she’s ridiculously good at all things deadly, with poisons being something of a specialty. Think of her as a more evil, less Russian version of Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow.
How does she fit into this story? It’s hard to tell, but it’s sure to be juicy. Despite her villainous ways, Viper has always had something of a complex relationship with Wolverine. They’re always at odds, but there’s certainly a mutual attraction there, and the two characters were even married at one point in the comics. Don’t think that means Viper will be playing the role of Jackman’s love interest in this one though. The lady gets around, and she also has a history of working relationships and romantic involvements with Wolverine’s hated enemy the Silver Samurai (who we now know is being played by Will Yun Lee).
Perhaps the most important thing to know about Viper, however, is that she generally dons all-green cat suits, has green hair, and wears green lipstick. Not only should this provide Biel with a unique look to prance around in on screen, it should also inspire plenty of titillating Viper costumes at next year’s Comic-Con. If there’s anybody out there with a chlorophyll fetish, this could be the beginning of the salad days for you, my friend.