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Rhys Ifans: 'Spider-Man' (Anonymous) Villain

Rhys Ifans, Notting Hill
Rhys Ifans, Notting Hill

Rhys Ifans, 43, perhaps best known for his role in the Julia Roberts-Hugh Grant romantic comedy Notting Hill, will play a villainous role in the next Spider-Man, to star The Social Network's Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spider Man and Easy A's Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy. (500) Days of Summer's Marc Webb will direct.

At this stage, Sony Pictures is playing coy about which villain exactly Ifans will incarnate, as the “filmmakers prefer to not reveal” said character's identity.

Ifans, who was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor BAFTA Award for Notting Hill, was reportedly cast as a result of his performance in Sony's historical/political thriller Anonymous, in which he plays Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford, who some scholars believe was the actual author of the plays and poems credited to William Shakespeare.

Directed by Roland Emmerich from a screenplay by John Orloff, Anonymous also features Jamie Campbell Bower, David Thewlis, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse's Xavier Samuel, Joely Richardson, and veterans Derek Jacobi and Vanessa Redgrave as Queen Elizabeth I.

Anonymous is scheduled to open in fall 2011.

This year, Ifans was seen in the Emma Thompson vehicle Nanny McPhee Returns, and can be spotted next in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I.

The Spider-Man reboot, which begins filming in December, is due out July 3, 2012.

Photo: Universal Pictures.

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