‘Avatar’ Sequels Will Feature Stephen Lang Reprising as Colonel Quaritch

Published 1 year ago by , Updated October 22nd, 2013 at 5:49 pm,

stephen lang avatar sequels 570x294 Avatar Sequels Will Feature Stephen Lang Reprising as Colonel Quaritch

James Cameron’s Avatar ushered in a new era for 3D cinema, but the filmmaker aims to outdo himself by shooting no less than three sequels to his sci-fi behemoth back-to-back-to-back, starting in October 2014. Wisely, Cameron has decided against taking on such a monumental task on his own, having recruited no less than four additional screenwriters to help him on Avatar 2-4. This, in turn, will free Cameron up to spend more time on perfecting the digital tools that he will require in order to further explore the extraterrestrial paradise that is Pandora.

Cast-wise, Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana are ready to reprise as human Na’Vi Jake Sully and Neytiri, while it seems that Sigourney Weaver will return as former human scientist-turned permanent ethereal resident of Pandora, Dr. Grace Augustine. However, it turns out that Weaver’s character won’t be the only human featured in Avatar who’s (seemingly) coming back from the dead for the sequels.

20th Century Fox has confirmed that Stephen Lang will return as the ruthless Colonel Miles Quaritch in the three Avatar sequels, even though the military leader (SPOILER?) seemed just about dead as a doornail, after taking a couple of arrows to the chest in the first movie. Regardless, it’s looking as though Lang’s antagonist is destined to become a mainstay of the Avatar franchise – but does that mean we can put those rumors about Arnold Schwarzenegger playing the villain in one or more of the sequels to rest? (Short answer: probably, but it’s not a certainty just yet…)

avatar james cameron stephen lang sam worthington Avatar Sequels Will Feature Stephen Lang Reprising as Colonel Quaritch

Here is an official statement from Cameron, teasing the explanation for Lang’s return in the Avatar sequels:

“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.”

Judging by Cameron’s statement, it sounds as though the relationship between Col. Quaritch and Jake might not evolve in the same direction as, say, the dynamic between Agent Smith and Neo in The Matrix trilogy (or even Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars trilogy). That is, with the hero/villain conflict growing somewhat more complex over the second and third installments (and the fourth, in Avatar‘s case); yet, always remaining a mostly straightforward fight between good and not-so-good.

Avatar Novels Avatar Sequels Will Feature Stephen Lang Reprising as Colonel Quaritch

On the contrary, Cameron’s line about how Quaritch will eventually “evolve into really unexpected places” could be a sign that Lang’s scarred military man (whose own philosophy puts the survival of the human race above all else) in camouflage might even turn over a new leaf during the course of the new Avatar trilogy. That could be an interesting development in the story, to make up for the loss of dramatic tension, since it seems the character won’t be dying onscreen anytime soon.

Either way, it’s not at all what we might’ve expected a few years ago, back when we spoke with Lang – during an interview to promote the Avatar Collector’s Edition release – about how the Quaritch character might return in the future. At the time, him appearing in an Avatar prequel tie-in novel (exploring the Colonel’s first days on Pandora) or flashbacks during the movie sequel seemed like the most reasonable option – how times have changed, right?


Avatar 2 is expected to reach theaters in December 2016, followed by Avatar 3 in 2017 and Avatar 4 in 2018.

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  1. Nothing against Stephen Land, but why would any sensible person want Colonel Quaritch back? He was a one dimensional cardboard cutout that wasn’t the least bit interesting or threatening (as were all the villains in this movie). He was a walking military cliche and further evidence that James Cameron isn’t all that inventive of a writer that people think he is. And he’s proving it again by lazily reintroducing him. And now Cameron’s trying to fool everybody that he’s ‘evolving’ his character, which he probably means in a literal sense and turning him into a superhuman Avatar rather than anything psychologically profound.

    • Ha! My thoughts exactly

    • +1000

    • Not everyone minds one-dimensional characters by default. I won’t suggest that he was a great,, but visually and viscerally he made an impression (like the rest of Avatar). I don’t know, I just don’t find Avatar repugnant the way many people do. I is what it is, and Cameron at least reliably delivers finished products, which is increasingly rare.

      That being said, I would not bring the character back simply because he seems played out whatever he was, and his “apparent” death was good for the story. What’s to be gained by his return?

      • +1 on all counts.

    • You’re so wrong. If you know anything about the military life, and anything about acting, you would already know that Lang NAILED, and I mean NAILED, his performance of a Marine Colonel. These guys are a breed onto themselves and it is very easy to end up with a cartoon like performance.

      If Cameron wanted to be lazy, he would have cast Michael Biehn and have him do his patented bug-eyed loony act. That would have been world class lazy.

    • Since there is a ‘good’ spirit of the planet Pandora, it’s just as easily possible that there’s a ‘dark’ spirit of Pandora. Maybe that dark spirit needs an Avatar of it’s own, and uses ol’ Col. Quaritch to fill that role. We know the spirits can heal the wounded, as they tried to do with Weaver’s character (but didn’t succeed.) Well, maybe the dark spirit (I’m REALLY trying to stay away from the word ‘Force’) will succeed where the ‘good’ spirit failed.

      Or, more likely, I think he’ll only be back in spirit (which will, of course, include a visual of him while talking to Jake).

    • He was logical. He tried to put in order, and order is needed.

  2. Skynet uses him as the model for the t-800, humans reprogram hin and send him back in time to replace the real Quaritch and use “him” against the Na’vi.

    Seriously though, Lang was one of my favorite parts about the film, despite his character being one-dimensional.

    • Cyberdyne, Hyperdyne, [something Avatar-related]-dyne…

  3. Lang looks like he could be an unmasked version Deathstroke if WB/DC introduce the character to the movies.

    • YES

    • SAME HERE!

  4. Resurrecting Stephen Lang makes sense if written well.
    I liked Stephen Lang for Nick Fury back in the day. Still do.

  5. But dat thug is dead


    No I’m just kidding, I could care less either way, I’m just bored

  7. He’s DEAD!!!!

    DEAD I TELL YOU !!!!!

    Next we’ll be hearing Sigourney Weaver will be back….


    Is this the BEST “star power” Cameron can bring to this Lava Lamp franchise???

  8. “It’s worse than that, he’s dead Jim”

  9. What if Quaritch turns good, then that would pave the way to bring in Arnold and Michael Biehn, maybe even Linda Hamilton as villains! It could be like a Aliens/Terminator reunion kinda thing… cuz lets face it, Aliens vs Terminator sounds far more interesting then Blue Pocahontas Catgirl Underwater… actually I take that back.

    • Yeah, that’s it!

      Colonel Quaritch will be back,biatch! Kinda like a Jedi ghost.

      Only MORE wooden than before. Is that even possible?

      He’ll be the big TREE OF LIFE OF THE LIL BLUE FREAKS.

      Wood. Trees. Cardboard. Eureka!

  10. Does Bobby Ewing show up too?

  11. UUUgh!….why are they bringing the Colonel character back???…..Cameron couldn’t come up with other villains?… sounds like lazy screenwriting to me!

  12. Now that’s one really nice official spoiler, don’t you think?
    Which means anything that happens to him in the sequel will mean nothing because he’s going to show up in the next one. Well, one surprise is lost there…

  13. I want Lang to return to The Pandora universe, if you have a problem with it, nothing a knockout by my fist cant resolve.

  14. @ Allen

    As Col. Quaritch would say, tell the naysayers to “shut their pie holes”,lol. I’ll be happy to see Lang back. Now it would be great to see him as Cable in X-Force film.

  15. I don’t care what anyone else says, I actually liked Colonel Quaritch. He was a bad-ass…

  16. I predict these three films will be the worst of James Cameron’s career.. What have we got but basically a series of excuses to extend already complete character arcs and plot points, with the sense of wonder from the original stretched to its limit by a multiple sequel setup with no real payoff at the end apart from the promise of Avatar 4? He’ll spend so much time on them as well, they may very well be his last as well as he isn’t the most productive of directors out there… Prove me wrong James Cameron!

  17. Wow… now they even introduce reboots into original concepts. Grace couldn’t be saved? But guess what? She’s still alive! Col. Quidditch (or whatever…) was brutally killed? But guess what! Alive! Ridiculous…

    Does anyone want to bet that they are going to bring back Sam Worthington as a human character as well (you know, for the girls) even though he was permanently transferred to his Avatar in the first movie?

    These sequels just took a nosedive for me. I really like Avatar, but this sounds as bad as it gets.

    • To be fair, they didn’t say HOW they’re going to bring him (or her) back. I don’t remember reading that Weaver would be alive. I thought it would be through flash backs or something. But I guess we’ll see.

      I’m not going to judge until the final product is out. There have been plenty of times when people jump to conclusions about a film before it’s released only to be proven wrong when it’s released.

  18. I also liked the character and wouldn’t mind his return IF it’s done well. I just hope it’s not a case of “we couldn’t think of a better villain so we just brought back the old one, even though it looked like he died in the first film” a la The Matrix. Agent Smith was great in the first film, but he went downhill after the first IMO.

    I guess we’ll see.

    • @Pyronaut

      I would agree about Agent Smith, but I thought both sequels in general went downhill from the first one, not just Agent Smith…

      I actually wish he becomes a good guy. He was a bad-ass in the first one. Call me a military junkie, but I’d much rather have him on my side. So it would be cool to see him fighting along-side the protagonists this time around…

      • Oh yeah I think it’s widely accepted that the films in general went downhill with each successive entry.

        It would be interesting to see the Colonel turned into a good guy, but then there would probably be (even more) accusations of Cameron being unoriginal since he already did that with the Terminator.

        • @Pyronaut

          But that’s his own movie, unlike Ferngully or Pocahontas, he can do that, lol.

          Plus, it actually seems like the only logical thing. If the planet somehow brings him back to life, I think that might change the way he sees it…

          I just wish the new villains in the sequels are not so military-like. Cameron stated in the beginning of the movie that they were NOT military, since he didn’t want it to be an anti-military movie (his brother was in the military, and he generally has a positive opinion on the military), but in the end, they were so close they might as well have been. That was probably the thing that bothered me the most about Avatar. I kind of wish that if they stick to the humans are bad theme, that the new group would be less official looking so it’s obvious they are free-lance. And maybe even have the actual military step in and help the good guys at the end or something.

          Cameron has always been anti-corporation, but pro military. You see this in most of his films. Terminator 2, Cyberdyne is really the enemy, he never portrayed the cops in the movie as the bad guys. They were just doing their job. The Abyss, the Navy SEALs in general were not the enemy, just their leader because he was suffering from a sickness. And even the scene where he dies, they didn’t celebrate it, he was shown to have some humanity left when he realized he was going to die (you see him looking scared, and he puts his hand on the glass, and the protagonist does the same, like she wants to reach out to him to save him). True Lies, Harry works for a government agency, and even though he acknowledges that they do illegal wiretaps every day, they are still shown as the good guys that ultimately do what they do to protect the USA from threats. Aliens, the Colonial Marines were the good guys. Shown many times risking their lives to save Ripley and the little girl. Burke, the corporate guy, is the villain.

          That’s why it was kind of a surprise that the group that so closely resembles the Colonial Marines were the villains in Avatar… But then you have to remember that in the opening scenes, they explain that these were not the military, they were mercenaries…

  19. I read once that Stephen Lang said “As long as they have my DNA I can come back.” In that regard he could be cloned, which would be interesting, but how about this: He becomes an avatar. With his body kept preserved, his mind is transferred to an avatar body artificially and he comes back to Pandora with a vengeance, and on equal ground with Jake Sully.

  20. Colonel Miles Quaritch examining himself in a broken mirror grimacing as he pokes at the two craters in his chest. We back away from the Colonel to reveal he is on a sandy beach. We back away from the sandy beach to reveal he is on a small island. We back away from the small island to reveal his island is in a large expanse of water. We back away from the water and see he is stranded on a water world, reincarnated and put there by the Triacquions as punishment for his sins.

  21. I certainly love Stephen Lang’s acting and do find him to be a complete gentleman. I was very fortunate to meet him when he was doing scenes for Terranova on our property here in Queensland Australia. Certainly would be wonderful if that series was revived as I’ve received so many comments from people here and also abroad.