Marc Webb‘s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has snapped up some very intriguing new stars in recent weeks, including Jamie Foxx, Shailene Woodley, and Dane DeHaan, but today’s addition is a familiar face. Martin Sheen has revealed that he will reprise his role as Uncle Ben in the sequel, which begins filming early next year. The role reunites him with co-stars Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, who play Peter Parker / Spider-Man and Gwen Stacey. More details after the jump.

Sheen revealed his involvement during an appearance on Ireland’s The Late Late Show (via Comic Book Movie):

They’ve called me back, I don’t know what the part is gonna be, but I’m going to be ‘Uncle Ben’ once again in Spider-Man next year. We shoot it in February.

For anyone who’s seen the last film — or really, anyone who’s even a little familiar with Spidey’s classic origin tale — this comes as a slight surprise. (Spoilers for last summer’s The Amazing Spider-Man ahead.) The death of Ben Parker is a formative moment for Peter in most tellings of the story, and Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man was no exception. Garfield’s Peter is pushed into vigilantism by Ben’s murder at the hands of a thief that Peter had let escape only moments before.

The question, then, is how The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will work Ben into the story line. Sheen’s comments don’t offer much in the way of clues. Flashbacks or dream sequences would be an obvious way to show the character again, especially since the last film set up Peter’s continued search for his parents. But this is comic book land (or comic book movie land, at any rate), so it’s always possible Webb and company have some other crazy twist up their sleeves.

There’s no official word yet on whether Sally Field, who played Ben’s widow and Peter’s aunt May Parker, will come back as well. With Sheen returning, though, we’d count on it.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will see Peter facing off against the villainous Electro (Foxx), building up to the (spoilers for The Amazing Spider-Man 3 follow) iconic “death of Gwen Stacy” storyline in the next film. The picture is slated for a May 2, 2014 release.

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