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Russian Actress in Talks to Play Viper in ‘Wolverine’

As soon as talks broke down with Jessica Biel, it appears 20th Century Fox went right down the list to its second choice among actresses to play Viper a.k.a Madame Hydra in The Wolverine. Twitch reports Russia's Svetlana Khodchenkova is negotiating to play the role of the Hungarian orphan-turned-assassin.

Khodchenkova has mostly Russian film credits to her name, but did have a significant part in the British period spy thriller Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

Given the character's European origins, Khodchenkova's casting makes more sense for the part than Biel, though certainly she possesses none of Biel's star appeal. Given that most of the cast consists of Japanese or Japanese-American actors, star Hugh Jackman is really the lone draw for Western audiences, but given the box-office track record of the movies in which he's played Wolverine, I don't think Fox has any reason to be concerned.

It's unclear how Viper fits into the screenplay written by Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects) with help later on from Mark Bomback (Unstoppable, Total Recall), but at times she has been romantically linked both to Silver Samurai (to be played by Will Yun Lee) and Wolverine, who she once blackmailed into marrying her so she could seize control of the country of Madripoor for her nefarious plans.

We'll find out at the latest when The Wolverine opens on July 26, 2013.


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