Marc Webb’s Spider-Man is shaping up quickly. Sony Pictures announced this morning that British actor Rhys Ifans, best known for his role in Notting Hill, will play the villain opposite Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. Most recently, Ifans starred in Pirate Radio and Greenberg and can next be seen in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and Roland Emmerich’s new film Anonymous, which Sony will release next September.

In fact, it was Anonymous, Emmerich’s Shakespearean thriller, that convinced the powers that be at the studio that Ifans was the guy. Says production president Matt Tolmach, “After seeing his performance in our upcoming film Anonymous, we’re in awe of his talent and think he’s the perfect choice to take on this role.” The studio is remaining mum on what character Ifans will play.

Production on Spider-Man is set to begin in December. It will be released in July 2012 in 3-D.