Recent rumors suggest that production on the three Avatar sequels is scheduled to begin in October 2014. We know Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana will reprise their roles from the original film, as Jake Sully and Neytiri, respectively. But it looks like another familiar face will return for the sequels as well, one nobody would have expected, given that he was killed in the first movie. We’re talking about baddie Colonel Miles Quaritch.
In an interview with Deadline, James Cameron revealed that actor Stephen Lang will reprise his role as Quaritch in all three of the Avatar sequels. Given that whole death thing, it’s unclear how he will return for the new films. Cameron talked about how much he loves the actor and the character, and why he wants to bring him back in some way. Cameron says:
Steven was so memorable in the first film, we’re privileged to have him back. I’m not going to say exactly HOW we’re bringing him back, but it’s a science fiction story, after all. His character will evolve into really unexpected places across the arc of our new three-film saga. I really look forward to working with such a gifted actor, who’s also become a good friend.
If there’s technology to make Jake Sully a permanent member of the Na’vi Tribe, then there has to be some kind of technology to bring the dead back to life. A few years ago, Cameron also expressed interest in seeing Sigourney Weaver’s character, Dr. Grace Augustine, back in the sequel films. If you remember, Dr. Augustine also died in the original Avatar, so Stephen Lang’s return to the series might not be the only resurrected character in the Avatar sequels.
An older interview with Vulture suggests that the formula for returning from the grave might appear in Avatar‘s backstory. He also suggested that in science fiction, anything is possible. “Okay, here’s the deal. When you have a science-fiction series, a science-fiction franchise, you’re never dead, unless your DNA is expunged from the universe,” explained Cameron. “And then there’s always time travel!”
Stephen Lang was amazing in Avatar, playing a villain that everyone loved to hate. While it would be good to see him return, it seems like we should see something new in the sequel films. Lang was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor, and for an MTV Movie Award for Best Villain. Since Avatar, Lang has appeared on the short-lived TV series Terra Nova and as Khalar Zym in the feature film remake Conan the Barbarian.
There were rumors that Arnold Schwarzenegger would reunite with James Cameron to play the bad guy in the Avatar sequels, but they didn’t pan out.
No plot details are currently available for the sequels, but it is believed that Avatar 2 will explore the oceans of Pandora, while Avatar 3 will explore the world’s moon. Avatar 4 is expected to be a prequel, which would take place before humans arrived on the distant planet. If the structure of the sequels hold true, you can easily see how Colonel Miles Quaritch could return to the franchise, but now it just seems that Cameron is going to put his character into one of the healing bays from Elysium.
Fox has yet to announce an official release date for the Avatar sequels, but it’s believed that they will be released for the Christmas season in 2016, 2017, and 2018.