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Rhys Ifans lands role in timber-epic ‘Serena’

Joins Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Toby Jones

Rhys Ifans, who plays the villainous Lizard in “The Amazing Spider-Man,” is in negotiations to join Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in Susanne Bier’s adaptation of Ron Rash’s novel “Serena,” which has also added Lawrence’s “Hunger Games” co-star Toby Jones.

2929 Entertainment is producing the pic, which will be co-financed by European mini-major Studiocanal.

Story unfolds in the mountains of 1920s North Carolina, with Cooper playing a timber baron and Lawrence playing his wife Serena, who battles the government to save their lands and engineers the murder of her husband’s illegitimate son.

Ifans is in talks to play Galloway, a vicious Appalachian guide who becomes Serena’s muscle after she saves his life. Jones is set to play Sheriff McDowell, who doggedly pursues Cooper’s character.

2929’s Todd Wagner and Ben Cosgrove are producing with Nick Wechsler and Chockstone Pictures principals Steve and Paula Mae Schwartz. Production on the $25 million-$30 million pic is skedded to start March 26 in Prague’s Barrandov Studio and on Czech locations.

Ifans, who is coming off strong reviews for his turn in Roland Emmerich’s “Anonymous,” will next be seen in Nicholas Stoller’s Universal comedy “The Five-Year Engagement.”

Jones is coming off a banner year in which he co-starred in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” “My Week With Marilyn,” “Captain America” and “The Adventures of Tintin.” He’ll soon be seen in both “The Hunger Games” and “Snow White and the Huntsman.”

UTA reps both Ifans and Jones, who is also repped by Artist Rights Group and attorneys Carlos Goodman and Greg Slewett. Ifans is also repped by Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Independent Talent Group.

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