When we first heard that Stephen Lang would be returning as Colonel Quaritch in Avatar 2, we assumed it would be in the form of a vision or a flashback since, you know, he died in Avatar. But that’s not the case. Lang is set to be the main villain of not only Avatar 2, but also in Avatar 3, 4, and 5. Uh, what?
“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,” writer/director James Cameron recently told Empire. “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—ker 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.”
This is certainly an interesting way of doing things. For one thing, having the same villain go up against the protagonists for five movies means you’d better have one amazing and memorable villain. We’re talking Darth Vader/Sauron level stuff here. And although Colonel Quaritch was entertaining, we’re not so sure he’s up to such a task (admit it, you’d forgotten his name before reading this article).
There’s also the mystery of just how the militant extremist will come back into the fold after, you know, dying. Cameron’s holding that info close to the vest so far, but he has mentioned in the past how the sci-fi/fantasy aspect of the films will play a role in Quaritch’s return. Does that mean he’ll be rebuilt as some kind of cyborg? Will he be brought back to life by the Tree of Souls only to turn on the Na’vi again? Whatever he has in mind, Cameron seems pretty confident that Lang’s performance will be regarded as an all-time great movie villain, and since the guy’s last two films have both broken the record for the highest-grossing movie of all time, I’d say he’s earned the benefit of the doubt.
Avatar 2 hits theaters on December 18, 2020.