You may not know her name — or be able to say or spell it — but next summer geeks everywhere will have Svetlana Khodchenkova down cold. The actress, probably best known for her part in last year’s “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” got her Hollywood break and nabbed the role of Viper in “The Wolverine” after Jessica Biel dropped out. And now, a little teaser of her in the movie has landed online.
This writer isn’t overly familiar with the character, so we’ll leave it to comic folks to determine whether the matching gloves, shades and angular haircut are right for the part. As for the character, she was originally a Captain America antagonist before becoming the presumed lover of Silver Samurai, Wolverine’s villain in the picture. Viper has no real powers but is best known for her athletic ability and skills in martial arts as a swordswoman and a markswoman. She first comes across Wolverine when thwarted by the clawed anti-hero in trying to poison gang boss daughter Mariko but, in later comics, she became more ambivalent, blackmailing Wolverine into marrying her, and developing real feelings for him.
Directed by James Mangold, the movie stars Hugh Jackman (obviously), Hiroyuki Sanada, Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukushima, Hal Yamanouchi, Will Yun Lee and Brian Tee. “The Wolverine” will claw its way into cinemas on July 26, 2013. [VK]