According to The Hollywood Reporter, the 58-year-old actor will play a "villainous mad-scientist type" in the new instalment, which will see Hugh Jackman, 47, once again reprise his role as metal-clawed mutant Logan/ Wolverine.

It appears that the British star isn't the only bad guy that will feature in the narrative; it was recently revealed that Narcos star Boyd Holbrook, 34, has been cast as the driven and demanding head of security that will face off against Wolverine.

Also joining Boyd and Richard in the cast line-up is former Star Trek star Patrick Stewart, who is set to return as the X-Men leader Professor X.

Other film details have been kept under wraps by scriptwriter David James Kelly, but director James Mangold previously hinted that Wolverine 3 could possibly be centred on tales from the superhero's later years and he was looking at Wolverine comic book story lines for inspiration, including "Old Man Logan".

Richard is a well-known face on the U.K. acting scene, most recently playing a key role in TV series Jekyll & Hyde. He also co-starred in Dig, the thriller co-created by Tim Kring that aired on U.S. as well as making appearances on BBC's Doctor Who and HBO’s Girls.

Wolverine 3 is expected to be Hugh's last outing as the character he has played since 2000. Speaking on The Dr. Oz Show last May (15), the Australian star said he felt it was the right time to retire the character.

"It is my last time," he confessed."It felt like it was the right time to do it. And let's be honest, 17 years. I never thought in a million years it would last, so I'm so grateful to the fans for the opportunity of playing it."

The film is scheduled to be released in cinemas in March 2017.