Jessica Biel was, frankly, made to play a comic book character.  She transformed her physique when she signed on for "Blade: Trinity," and she gave a dedicated performance in what was unfortunately a weaker movie, but that performance wasn't enough to make it work.  It seems like a given that some smart producer would find the right comic book role for her, and now it appears she's once again dipping into the Marvel Universe with a role in James Mangold's upcoming "The Wolverine."

Her character, Viper, is also known as Madame Hydra at times, and she's had a long history in the various comics published by Marvel.  She's been a Captain America bad guy, and at once point she even stole the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier.  One of her most famous storylines involved characters who we already know are part of "The Wolverine," so it makes sense she would also show up.

In the comics, she was in love with the Silver Samurai, and the two of them found themselves locked in a dangerous rivalry with Wolverine over his fondness for Mariko Yashida.  More and more, it sounds like they're really drawing on the work that Chris Claremont and John Byrne did on the series in the late '70s and the early '80s, and if nothing else, it sounds like it won't feel like any other superhero movie.

That's not an easy thing to pull off, and anyone who tries to break the mold of what a superhero movie "should" be needs to be commended these days.  There are unlimited numbers of stories that can be told using the trappings of the genre, and instead, most of these films revolve around people trying to stop some techno doodad on a roof.  Here, it sounds like Mangold is going to tackle the Japanese years for Wolverine and the amazing cast of characters who he interacted with in one particular story.  It's ambitious, and he's putting an interesting cast together so far.

"The Wolverine" is set for release July 26, 2013.

A respected critic and commentator for fifteen years, Drew McWeeny helped create the online film community as "Moriarty" at Ain't It Cool News, and now proudly leads two budding Film Nerds in their ongoing movie education.