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Thomas Haden Church is the new 'Spider-Man 3' baddie

Posted Tuesday, March 22, 2005 at 1:06 PM Central

by Tim Briscoe

Thomas Haden Church, who was most recently nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in Sideways, has been cast as Spider-Man's new archenemy in the next chapter of the Spider-Man adventure, it was announced by director Sam Raimi and producer Laura Ziskin and Marvel Studios honcho Avi Arad.

"In addition to the on-going relationship between Peter Parker and M.J., these films are driven by the great actors who have brought our villains to life," said Raimi. "Thomas Haden Church will be a fantastic and challenging new nemesis and we all look forward to working with him." Production on Spider-Man 3 is scheduled to begin early next year.

Spider-Man 3, which is scheduled for release on May 4, 2007, will reunite the successful team that was responsible for the first two blockbuster films. The franchise has grossed more than $1.5 billion in worldwide ticket sales and the new film will again reteam director Raimi, producers Ziskin and Arad, and actors Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Kirsten Dunst as M.J..

The identity of the new villain to be played by Church is being kept secret. From the last installment we know that James Francoís character, Harry Osborn, will stand in Spider-Manís way by fulfilling his fatherís legacy. Dylan Baker appeared in Spider-Man 2 as Dr. Curt Connors ó the name of Spidey comic book villain Lizard. We personally hope Church plays classic bad guy Scorpion as his comic story seems to fit well with the direction of the movies. Regardless, Spider-Man will surely have his hands full in this upcoming film.

Thanks to Sideways, Church is in high demand in Hollywood. The actor, a voice-over veteran, is voicing one of the characters in the upcoming animated film Charlotte's Web. Church previously appeared in such other films as George of the Jungle, 3000 Miles to Graceland, and Tombstone. In 2003, he also starred in, co-wrote and directed the comedy Rolling Kansas. From 1990 to 1995, Church played Lowell Mather in the NBC TV series "Wings".