British actor Richard E. Grant (Jekyll and Hyde, Withnail and I) has joined the cast of the new Wolverine film in as an undisclosed, “mad scientist villain” role. This being a superhero movie, Grant could be playing any of the comic book world’s innumerable mad scientists.
That said, here are two roles Grant could reasonably be expected to play in the film.
Professor Andre Thorton
Sometimes just known as “The Professor”, Thorton is responsible for first experimenting on Wolverine and Sabertooth. While he was ultimately killed in the comics, Thorton took the lead on making it so that Wolverine’s body was covered in adamantium.
Given the clues we’ve gathered about the upcoming Wolverine film, which will take inspiration from the Old Man Logan comics — and potentially the last Wolverine film starring Hugh Jackman — Grant could play Abraham Cornelius.
Cornelius worked under Thorton and was the scientist responsible for successfully bonding the adamantium to Logan’s skeleton. He went on to eventually start the Weapon X program. He is also killed in the comics, but makes an important return in the 2014 series Death of Wolverine when he puts a bounty on Wolverine’s head. Wolverine’s pursuit of Cornelius eventually kills him, but only after defeating the scientist villain. As a potential series finale, Wolverine 3 might be willing to adapt this death storyline for Jackman.
A sequel of director James Mangold’s to 2013’s The Wolverine, the upcoming solo film will be the first to take place in the new timeline created by Days of Future Past time-travel shenanigans. The film is set to release March 3, 2017.