With $2.788 billion in worldwide grosses, James Cameron’s 2009 environmental manifesto Avatar still stands tall as the most financially successful film ever. But that doesn’t mean that everyone is on board for the four sequels in the works (just watch the comments section). Fans of Stephen Lang, however, have much to look forward to.
While discussing the sequels, which aren’t slated to begin dropping until 2020, Cameron—who's mostly kept mum about them—spilled some tantalizing details to Empire. Besides saying that Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy inspired the extended Avatar stories, and noting that each sequel would stand on its own as a complete story, Cameron also revealed that Lang will play the Big Bad throughout all four films.
"The interesting conceit of the Avatar sequels is it’s pretty much the same characters. There are new characters and a lot of new settings and creatures, so I’m taking characters you know and putting them in unfamiliar places and moving them on this greater journey. But it’s not a whole bunch of new characters every time. There’s not a new villain every time, which is interesting. Same guy. Same motherf***er through all four movies. He is so good and he just gets better. I know Stephen Lang is gonna knock this out of the park."
Though we knew Lang’s quintessentially militaristic Colonel Quaritch would be coming back for the sequels, we didn’t realize he’d be returning in such a major way, particularly since at the end of Avatar, he took two Na’vi arrows to the chest and appeared to be very much dead.
But don’t forget, in the final fight scene (check it out below), Quaritch says, “Nothing’s over while I’m breathing.” So it appears he still has a little life left in him. Or a lot, as the case may be. So now we get to speculate on just how he survives. My bet is that they use the already established tech to resurrect the mean Marine and create an ultimate avatar fighter. What’s your guess?
The Avatar sequels begin shooting this fall with Lang joining returning stars Zoe Saldana, Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, CCH Pounder, Joel David Moore and Matt Gerald (Melvin Potter on Daredevil), who we just learned will reprise his role of Corporal Lyle Wainfleet, another seemingly dead corporate mercenary. They’ll be accompanied by newcomers Cliff Curtis and Oona Chaplain. Avatar 2 is slated for Dec. 18, 2020, with sequels dropping around Christmas of 2021, 2024, and 2025.