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Elektra star Will Yun Lee to play the villain in The Wolverine

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Will Yun Lee will play the villain in director James Mangold’s “The Wolverine”.

This is the second major comic book movie for Yun Lee this decade, with the born actor previously having played Kirigi in “Elektra” (2005). Yun Lee also appeared in the pilot for “Witchblade” in 2000, and lent his lungs to the recent “Amazing Spider-Man” video game.

In “The Wolverine”, which sees Hugh Jackman’s sideburned hero headed to Japan, Yun Lee will be Harada, better known as ‘The Silver Samurai’.

Brian Tee (“The Fast and the Furious : Tokyo Drift”), Hiroyuki Sanada (”The Last Samurai”), Hal Yamanouchi (”The Way Back”), Tao Okamoto and Rila Fukushima have also been cast.

While The Hollywood Reporter broke the news on Yun Lee’s anointment as The Silver Samurai, Coming Soon have the scoop on the latter foursome gaining employment on the Jackman sequel.

Hiroyuki Sanada (“Lost,” Rush Hour 3, The Last Samurai) is set to play Shingen; veteran actor Hal Yamanouchi (The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Push, Sinbad of the Seven Seas) plays Yashida; and new discoveries Tao Okamoto and Rila Fukushima will star as Mariko and Yukio, respectively. While none of these actors have much of a following outside of Japan, the fact that a major studio is trying to keep some authenticity in a film of this magnitude is very encouraging.

The one nugget of a storyline the studio has released is that the film is inspired by the celebrated Marvel comic book arc by Chris Claremont & Frank Miller and that The Wolverine finds Logan, the eternal warrior and outsider, in Japan. There, samurai steel clashes with adamantium claws as Logan confronts a mysterious figure from his past in an epic battle that will leave him forever changed.

“The Wolverine”, which will film in both Japan and Australia, will be released July 26, 2013.

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