Church is the Spider-Man 3 Nemesis!

Thomas Haden Church, who was most recently nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in “Sideways,” has been cast as Spider-Man’s new archenemy in the next chapter of the “Spider-Man” adventure, it was announced by director Sam Raimi and producers Laura Ziskin and Marvel Studios’ Avi Arad.

Spider-Man 3, which is scheduled for release on May 4, 2007, will reunite the successful team that was responsible for the first two blockbuster films. The franchise has grossed more than $1.5 billion in worldwide ticket sales and the new film will again reteam director Raimi, producers Ziskin and Arad, and actors Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Kirsten Dunst as M.J..

Production on Spider-Man 3 is scheduled to begin early next year.

“In addition to the on-going relationship between Peter Parker and M.J., these films are driven by the great actors who have brought our villains to life,” said Raimi. “Thomas Haden Church will be a fantastic and challenging new nemesis and we all look forward to working with him.”

The identity of the new villain is being kept secret and while speculation is rampant about which character is being called into action, the studio will not comment on the casting beyond confirming Church.

Since his star-making role in Spider-Man 3, Church has been in demand. The actor is voicing one of the characters in the upcoming animated film “Charlotte’s Web,” and he recently appeared in Columbia Pictures’ “Spanglish”. Church previously appeared in such other films as “George of the Jungle,” “3000 Miles to Graceland,” and “Tombstone”. In 2003, he also starred in, co-wrote and directed the comedy “Rolling Kansas”. From 1990 to 1995, Church played Lowell Mather in the TV series “Wings”.

Source: Columbia Pictures