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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 March, 2005, 11:43 GMT
Spidey 'role' for Sideways star
Thomas Haden Church (right) was acclaimed for his role in Sideways
Sideways star Thomas Haden Church is to play Spider-Man's arch-enemy in the next instalment of the film series, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Church, who was Oscar-nominated for his role in Alexander Payne's comedy, will co-star with Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst, stars of the previous two films.

Spider-Man 3 is due for release in May 2007, but its makers are keeping secret the identity of the latest villain.

Church, 43, is currently voicing one of the characters in Charlotte's Web.

'Fantastic new nemesis'

Director Sam Raimi said that Church would be "a fantastic and challenging new nemesis" in the latest part of the Spider-Man franchise.

"These films are driven by the great actors who have brought our villains to life," added the film-maker.

The first two films, which were made by the same team, made more than $1.5bn (790 million) in box office sales around the world.

Spider-Man 2
Tobey Maguire will play superhero Spider-Man for a third time

Filming on the third part of the blockbuster series is expected to begin early next year.

Church, who recently appeared in Adam Sandler comedy Spanglish, was nominated for both an Oscar and a Golden Globe award for his role in Sideways. He played Jack, a has-been actor, on a wine-fuelled stag weekend with an old friend from college.

His other screen credits include both George Of The Jungle movies and sitcom Ned and Stacey, which ran on US television from 1995-97.

Actors who have previously played arch-rivals to superhero Spider-Man include Willem Defoe and British actor Alfred Molina.

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