avatar stephen lang

Avatar is the franchise that keeps threatening to coming back and it looks like its dead characters are undergoing that same fate.

Not only will the heroes played by Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver be returning, but so will the much more memorable but much less alive villains played by Stephen Lang and Matt Gerald. And if you weren’t spoiled by the news that they died at the end of Avatar (the movie came out in 2009, keep up with the times) James Cameron revealed that Lang’s Colonel Quaritch will be the Big Bad for all four sequels.

In a new interview with Empire Magazine, James Cameron explained that he will be bringing back Lang as the dastardly Colonel Miles Quaritch and Gerald as his cold-blooded henchman Corporal Lyle Wainfleet, though he wouldn’t exactly explain how:

“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 motherfucker 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.”

It’s even more interesting since Colonel Quaritch is incredibly dead. Like shot in the chest with multiple arrows dead. This is not a spoiler since it happened eight years ago. We knew that Lang would be returning for the sequels, but we had all assumed it would be a cameo of some kind. But the main villain? In all four movies? That’s new. And weird. Especially since his dead henchman is joining him.

Corporal Wainfleet was crushed under the feet of a Hammerhead Titanothere, which had rammed into his suit during the SecOps attack on the Na’vi Tree of Souls. There’s no news on whether they will bring back Michelle Rodriguez’s Trudy Chacón, who was very clearly blown up during the final battle. But I’m sure Cameron will find a way somehow.

Cameron didn’t elaborate on how he would bring back these deceased characters, though it may be connected to how he’s bringing back Sigourney Weaver’s Dr. Grace Augustine, who — let’s not forget — had also died from a gunshot wound by Colonel Quaritch. Telling Jake with her dying breath that she was “with the Eywa,” Grace’s consciousness was somehow “downloaded” into the “organic computer” of Pandora’s ecosystem. This may be the key to bringing back Weaver’s character, who I had forgotten had died at the end of Avatar because of Weaver’s well-documented enthusiasm for the sequels. I find it unlikely the Eywa would save Quaritch and Wainfleet since they tried to extinguish it, though this may be how we get Lang to be the main villain for all four (!) sequels. Either that or cyborg zombies. Or clones.

Avatar 2 hits theaters on December 18, 2020. Three more sequels will follow in the years after that.

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