Rhys Ifans Climbs the Mountains of 'Serena'

[caption id="attachment_10961" align="alignleft" width="220" caption="Getty Images"]Rhys Ifans[/caption]

Rhys Ifans is about to yell "Timber!"

The "Amazing Spider-Man" villain will be trading the streets (and, presumably, the sewers) of New York City for the mountains of North Carolina in "Serena," according to Variety.

"Serena" takes place in 1929 North Carolina, where young newlyweds George and Serena Pemberton (Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence) look to build their timber empire. Their ruthless rise to power takes a sudden turn when Serena finds she can't bear children, which prompts her to embark on a deadly vendetta against her husband's illegitimate son.

The film is based on the 2008 novel by Ron Rash and was originally being circled by Angelina Jolie and "Black Swan" director Darren Aronofsky.

Rhys Ifans is in talks to play Galloway, a vicious Appalachian guide who becomes Serena's bodyguard and enforcer after she saves his life. Lawrence's "Hunger Games" co-star, Toby Jones, has also recently joined the cast as Sheriff McDowell, who is determined to bring down George Pemberton's corrupt business.

We were already excited about "Serena," what with Cooper and Lawrence continuing to make beautiful music together after wrapping "The Silver Linings Handbook" and for what sounds like a particularly juicy Lady MacBeth-ish role for young Katniss Everdeen. The additions of both Ifans and Jones makes us even more curious for what appears to be a rough-edged morality tale along the lines of "There Will Be Blood."

Rhys Ifans, who made for an excellent Xenophilius Lovegood in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1," will first be seen in "The Five-Year Engagement," opening April 27, before making his bow as Dr. Curt Connors/The Lizard in "The Amazing Spider-Man," opening July 3.

"Serena" is set to commence with production later this year under the direction of Susanne Bier ("In a Better World").