Rhys Ifans (Notting Hill) will play the villain, opposite Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker and Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, in the next installment of Spider-Man from Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios, it was announced today by Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment and Matt Tolmach, president of Columbia Pictures. The film, to be directed by Marc Webb from a screenplay by James Vanderbilt and produced by Avi Arad and Laura Ziskin, will begin production in December and will be released in theaters nationwide in 3D on July 3, 2012.
Commenting on the announcement, Tolmach said, "We have been very fortunate to attract some of the best actors working today to play the villains in the Spider-Man movies, and it is exciting to see that trend continue with Rhys Ifans. After seeing his performance in our upcoming film Anonymous, we’re in awe of his talent and think he’s the perfect choice to take on this role."
The filmmakers prefer to not reveal which character Ifans will be playing in the forthcoming film.
Webb added, "What sets the Spider-Man villains apart is the complexity of their relationships with Peter Parker. Rhys’ incredible ability to embody both warmth and rage makes him the ideal choice for this character."
Spider-Man is being overseen at the studio by Tolmach and Rachel O’Connor. Ifans is represented by United Talent Agency, Brillstein Entertainment Partners, and Independent Talent Group.
Ifans will next appear in Mr. Nice, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Passion Play, and Columbia Pictures’ Anonymous, for director Roland Emmerich.