Rhys Ifans to play Spider-Man villain

Rhys Ifans Rhys Ifans' breakthrough role was in the 1999 film Notting Hill

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Welsh actor Rhys Ifans has been cast to play the villain in the new Spider-Man film, it has been announced.

Columbia Pictures' Matt Tolmach refused to reveal exactly which character he would play but added "he's the perfect choice to take on this role".

In July, it was announced that British actor Andrew Garfield would play Spider-Man.

The film, to be shot in 3D, will focus on the formative years of Peter Parker and is set to be released in 2012.

Ifans' breakthrough role came in the 1999 film Notting Hill, where he played Hugh Grant's lazy lodger.

He is currently starring in Mr Nice, which was released in the UK on Friday, and tells the real-life story of notorious dope-smuggler Howard Marks.

Marc Webb has been lined up to direct the as-yet-unnamed movie and Emma Stone will play Gwen Stacy.

Webb said: "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."

Tolmach added: "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."

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