The more I hear about The Wolverine, the more I like it. It has the potential to be one of the most faithful comic book adaptations to date. And the casting of a big name in a major role gives us a little more insight into what the film’s plot may be.
Deadline is reporting that Jessica Biel has been cast as The Viper. This will be Biel’s second Marvel film. She has played Abigail Whistler in 2004’s Blade: Trinity.
The Viper character has had a long and interesting history in comics. She first appeared in Captain America #110, created by writer/artist Jim Steranko. She is an international terrorist, and her plots have brought her into conflict with Captain America, Spider-Man, Spider Woman, and many other Marvel heroes.
I have spoke about her involvement with the comic book storyline The Wolverine appears to be partially adapted from here. Her inclusion will hopefully mean that the partnership of the Viper and Silver Samurai will carry over from the comics, but it also means that unless she only comes in during the final act of the film, the film storyline will have to be very different than the comics that inspired them (her character and the Silver Samurai appears after conflict between Wolverine and Shingen is over).
Also missing, presumably, will be The Viper’s connection to HYDRA, the Marvel Comics terrorist organization that was brought to the screen in Captain America: The First Avenger. On the surface, her comic book involvement might seem like something that can easily be erased for the film, but she once was known as Madame Hydra in the comics. Perhaps this could appear as a bit of subtle continuity between the Fox films and the Marvel films if they keep this tidbit intact.
Regardless, between this, her involvement with Blade: Trinity, and her role in the upcoming Total Recall remake, she is developing quite the geek cred.