Rhys Ifans is to play the villain in Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios’ new installment of Spider-Man, though the filmmakers have not revealed which character that will be.

Ifans joins a cast that already includes Andrew Garfield and Gwen Stacy. Marc Webb is to direct the franchise reboot from a screenplay by James Vanderbilt, with Avi Arad and Laura Ziskin producing. Production will begin in December and the 3D film will be released in the US on July 3, 2012.

Best known for such films as Notting Hill, Elizabeth: The Golden Age and Pirate Radio, Ifans will be seen in upcoming releases Mr Nice, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Passion Play and Columbia’s Anonymous.

Spider-Man is being overseen at Columbia by president Matt Tolmach and Rachel O’Connor. Ifans is represented by United Talent Agency, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Independent Talent Group.