Yesterday, we reported that talks broke down between Jessica Biel and 20th Century Fox for The Viper role in The Wolverine. We knew that the studio had to act fast to find a replacement, since production is scheduled to begin next month. Today, we have word that Russian actress Svetlana Khodchenkova is in negotiations to play The Viper.

The actress has appeared in a slew of Russian productions, but she is best known stateside for portraying Irina in last year's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. She is likely a better fit for the role, since The Viper hails from an unknown Eastern European country. The character has a sorted history with the title character throughout the Marvel comics, a friendly ally at times, and a conniving enemy in other story lines. It isn't exactly known how the character will fit into The Wolverine plot quite yet.

James Mangold is directing from a screenplay by Christopher McQuarrie and Mark Bomback. The story picks up after X-Men Origins: Wolverine, following Logan (Hugh Jackman) to Japan, where he searches for more clues about his true identity.

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