Avatar: The Way of Water brings back Stephen Lang as the villainous Miles Quaritch, despite the character dying in the 2009 film. While this was a surprising recent reveal, apparently it was a plan that had been in motion for a long time. Lang spoke to ComicBook.com about his discussion with James Cameron before the first film was even released, saying “at that point he mentioned that he wasn’t done with Quaritch, so it was nice to hear but I didn’t get that enthusiastic because we didn’t even know if Avatar would be a hit.”
Avatar was undoubtedly a massive hit, becoming the highest-grossing movie of all time, so it was no surprise that Stephen Lang got confirmation later, adding “in January 2010, I was presenting him with an award at a dinner and at the dinner he told me I’d be back.” It may have taken him over a decade, but James Cameron made good on his promise and now Quaritch will be back once again to bring chaos to Pandora in Avatar: The Way of Water. We’ll have to wait and see the film in theaters to find out if he’ll have a chance to come back for more films in the future.
Avatar: The Way of Water is bringing back more than just Stephen Lang. Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana will also come back as Jake Sully and Neytiri while Giovanni Ribisi, Joel David Moore, Dileep Rao, CCH Pounder, and Matt Gerald also reprise their roles. Of course, new characters will also come into the fold played by Kate Winslet, Cliff Curtis, Edie Falco, Brendan Cowell, Michelle Yeoh, Jemaine Clement, Oona Chaplin, David Thewlis, and CJ Jones. It’ll certainly be interesting to see how Cameron brings his massive cast together.
Interestingly, Avatar: The Way of Water is bringing more than just Stephen Lang back from the dead. Sigourney Weaver’s character also died in the first movie, but she’ll be returning for the sequel as well as a child Na’vi thanks to the magic of CGI. Meanwhile, Lang’s Quaritch is brought back as Na’vi as well, though he won’t be a friendly face.
There are a lot of expectations riding on Avatar: The Way of Water, so it’s a good thing Stephen Lang and the rest of the cast brought their A-game. The film will need to become one of the highest-grossing movies of all time just to break even financially, so Cameron will need fans to come out to the theaters in droves to return to his world of Pandora. With that being said, Cameron is pretty much the definition of box-office gold, so he would be the one who could pull off such an intimidating feat.
Fortunately, Avatar: The Way of Water is off to a great start, with the film receiving tons of critical praise following the review embargo being lifted this morning. Many of the reviews say the story won’t blow anyone’s mind, but that the visual spectacle is well worth the cost of a ticket. This is good because Cameron has said the development of more Avatar sequels is dependent on the success of this film.
If you’re excited to check out Avatar: The Way of Water for yourself, you don’t have long to wait. You can catch Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, and the rest of the cast this weekend. The film will be hitting theaters Friday, December 16.