Lee Pace ("The Hobbit") is in final negotiations to play the villain in Disney and Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy," an individual familiar with the project has told TheWrap.
The identity of Pace's villainous character is being kept under wraps.
"Guardians of the Galaxy" finds Quill leading a group of alien superheroes as they protect the solar system from an evil alien race.
The cast currently features Chris Pratt as Star Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, WWE star Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer and Michael Rooker as Yondu. Ophelia Lovibond will also co-star in an unknown supporting role.
Production will start in June and Disney will release the film on Aug. 1, 2014.
Last November, Pace was mentioned as one of several actors being considered to play hero Peter Quill, aka Star Lord. Pratt ultimately won that role but Marvel was impressed with Pace's audition and kept him in mind when it came time to cast the villain.
Pace, who recently worked with Steven Spielberg on "Lincoln" and had a supporting role in "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2," plays Thranduil in Peter Jackson's "Hobbit" trilogy.
On the small screen, he starred in Bryan Fuller's acclaimed series "Pushing Daisies" and "Wonderfalls," and will soon be seen as the lead in AMC's pilot "Halt & Catch Fire," which co-stars Scoot McNairy and Mackenzie Davis.
He's repped by CAA and Management 360.