The actor has been cast as the villain in Marvel’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron, which Disney will release on May 1 2015.

Joss Whedon writes and will direct the sequel to his global smash that grossed $1.5bn worldwide in 2012 and became the third biggest release in history.

Spader earned three Emmy Awards for his role as Alan Shore on Boston Legal and The Practice and will return to television this autumn in NBC’s The Blacklist [pictured].

Most recently he appeared in Lincoln and his feature credits include Crash, 2 Days In The Valley and Sex, Lies & Videotape.

Spader is represented by ICM Partners and his lawyer Melanie Cook at Ziffren Brittenham.