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Spider-Man’s next villain will be The Lizard

Well that didn’t take long. It is hard to keep a secret on the Internet, especially when that secret is entertainment-related, and even more so when that secret is related to a project with as intense a fan following as Spider-Man. On Tuesday, Sony officially announced that Rhys Ifans had joined the cast of Marc Webb’s Spider-Man reboot to face off against Andrew Garfield’s Spidey as an unnamed bad guy. The rampant speculation of who that bad guy would be had been circling ever since the project was announced, and with the casting of Ifans, it just got more intense.

According to the website TheWrap, which first broke the story, Ifans will be playing the role of Dr. Curt Connors, a.k.a. The Lizard.

If you aren’t up on your Spider-Man lore, Dr. Connors is something of a tragic figure in the Spider-Man pantheon of villains. After losing an arm in an accident, Dr. Connors began to experiment with reptilian DNA, specifically the genes that allow reptiles to regrow lost limbs. During an experiment — where in true comic book fashion Dr. Connors decided to test the formula on himself — things went horribly wrong and Connors began to change. The resulting mutation turned Dr. Connors from a brilliant and gentle scientist who frequently acted as a mentor and friend to Peter Parker in school, into a vicious monster.

The background has changed over the years, but the character of the Lizard has always been seen as a modern day Jekyll and Hyde. In the previous movies Dr. Connors was played by Dylan Baker, and was portrayed as a professor at Spider-Man’s college. Early reports claim that the new film will be set during Peter Parker’s college years, so it would fit to have The Lizard as the villain.

The new Spider-Man will hit theaters in 3D on July 3, 2012.

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