Jessica Biel will no longer be playing a role in director James Mangold’s The Wolverine, according to a report by Collider.
Talks between Biel and 20th Century Fox have reportedly broken down, and now the studio is scrambling to find an actress to replace her as Viper in the Marvel film. The studio has already begun talking to other actresses as the production start date closes in. Filming for the sequel to X-Men Origins: Wolverine begins next month in Australia and Japan.
Biel has turned down the offer to play Viper/Victoria/Madame Hydra opposite Hugh Jackman. The character role now up for grabs, is a skilled combat specialist who has a complex relationship with Wolverine. Her role in The Wolverine movie reportedly follows the comic book arc from Chris Claremont and Frank Miller in which Wolverine/Logan finds himself as a straggler in Japan.
The Blade actress was expected to join other recent cast additions that included a number of Japanese actors such as Hiroyuki Sanada, Hal Yamanouchi , Tao Okamoto and Rila Fukushima.
The Wolverine is scheduled for release on July 26, 2013.